Liquid Crystal Waveguides

Polarization (in)dependent liquid crystal waveguides for switching, variable optical attenuation, variable power splitting and tunable optical filtering.

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Polymer Energy Harvester

Energy harvester based on electroactive polymers for low power electronics applications.

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Tunable Micro-lenses

Micro-lenses of continuously adjustable focal length driven by an electroactive polymer actuator.

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Smart Micro-Optics

The research group »Smart Micro-Optics« (SMO) is working on the design and implementation of new and »smarter« components as alternatives to traditional silicon or silicon oxide based micro-optical components. Specifically the work of the group is dedicated to R & D of electro-active materials and their use in tunable micro-optical components.

The basic idea: Active elements made of intelligent, electro-active organic materials make dynamic manipulation of the components' characteristic parameters possible. The utilization of these new materials in combination with the silicon technology available at Fraunhofer IPMS is what makes the fabrication and ongoing development of innovative components for specific applications successful. Here the focus lies in the present research approaches for electro-active materials geared especially toward applications in integrated photonics and micro-optics.

The Smart Micro-Optics research group has competencies in R&D of electro-active organic materials, in simulation and modeling of optics and waveguide devices and in characterization of materials and optical devices. The fabrication of the innovative ‘smart’ organic materials based optical devices is carried out in the Fraunhofer IPMS cleanroom.

Fields of Application

 

Liquid Crystal Waveguides

Optical functionalities – switch, VOA, etc. – based on the principle of electro-optically induced waveguides in liquid crystals in isotropic phase.

 

Polymer Energy Harvester

Energy harvester systems developed from electroactive polymers of large relative permittivity for powering ‘wearable electronics’.

 

Tunable Micro-lenses

Micro-lenses with continuously adjustable focal length, as a result of liquid displacement in micro-fluidic silicon chambers by means of a voltage-driven electroactive polymer actuator.

Press Releases

Press Release | February 10, 2016

Powering wearable electronics from walking