The Institute of Photonic Technologies (LPT)


The potential of light seems to be unlimited. In basic research the amount of knowledge is growing rapidly, qualifying Photonic Technologies for more and more fields of application.  In order to investigate optical phenomena as well as processes and to make them valuable for industrial applications, the LPT was founded at the Friedrich-Alexander University of Erlangen-Nürnberg headed by Professor Michael Schmidt, within the Department of Mechanical Engineering.

The aim of our institute is to establish a link between scientific progress and industrial application in the field of Photonics and Laser Technology. Topics with academic and technological relevance are emphasized so that e.g. production and medicine may benefit from our achievements. Our current research is divided into five subgroups: additive manufacturing, simulation & modelling, sensing & control, photonics in medical engineering and ultrashort pulse laser technologies. The latter group will also organise the Challenge.

The development of ultrashort pulse laser technologies within the last ten years did not only create new perspectives for basic scientific research, but has also led to the realization of new technologies and applications. While some of these technologies are already being used in industrial processes and medicine (e.g. Optical Coherence Tomography, femtosecond ophthalmology, high precision micro-machining as well as variable light sources), most of today’s ultrafast technologies are still in the state of development and can only be applied in highly specialized research facilities.

Because of their novelty and complexity, the transfer of ultrashort pulse laser processes into industrial solutions remains challenging. Our group of "Ultrashort Pulse Laser Technologies" wants to overcome that gap and build a bridge between basic research and industrial application. Its main fields of activity are research and development of material machining using femtosecond and picosecond lasers. These beam sources are suitable for micro and nano structuring as well as for machining of transparent materials (e.g. welding and volume structuring of glass), direct wave guide writing and micro adjusting of mechanical and optical components. Furthermore, biomedical applications of ultrafast laser will be the topic of future collaborations with other research facilities and institutes.

The LPT collaborates with both national and international groups. Amongst our international collaborators is the group around Martin Booth (University of Oxford), which deals with laser beam shaping for applications in microscopy and micro fabrication.

The city of Erlangen is located in the Mittelfranken administration region, which is one of the regions of the state of Bavaria. Erlangen is dominated by the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg. Research groups of the Institute of Fraunhofer and the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Light as well as many branches of Siemens AG are also situated in Erlangen. Take the chance and experience state of the art optical techniques in one of the most beautiful cities of Germany.



Our Challenge: Photonic Technologies


Modern technology makes the life of counterfeiters increasingly difficult. Lasers allow us to create complex Holograms as a security measure. Can you decode the message hidden in a seemingly random pattern? Join the challenge and try to crack the hologram!

Go to the photonics challenge!