Fraunhofer Institute for Physical Measurement Techniques IPM

Measuring | Monitoring | Optimizing

The Fraunhofer Institute for Physical Measurement Techniques IPM develops tailor-made measuring techniques and systems for industry. Many years of experience with optical technologies form the basis for high-tech solutions in the fields of production control, object and shape detection, gas and process technology as well as thermal energy converters.


Business Unit

Production Control

We analyze surfaces and 3D structures of components quickly and with micrometer precision. This means that 100 percent production control in real-time is possible.


Business Unit

Object and
Shape Detection

We detect the three-dimensional shape and position of objects and large structures at high speed and with high precision. Measurements are taken predominantly from moving platforms.


Business Unit

Gas and Process

We develop and manufacture measurement systems for gas and liquid analysis which feature high precision and reliability even under extreme conditions. The scope ranges from laser spectrometers for exhaust gas analysis to energy-efficient gas sensor for  food quality monitoring.


Business Unit

Thermal Energy

We manufacture and optimize materials with special physical properties. These materials form the basis for systems for magnetic cooling or thermoelectric energy harvesting.


Quantum sensor technology opens up new possibilities for infrared spectroscopy

A combination of Fourier transform analysis and quantum effect allows the spectral properties of different substances to be detected quickly and precisely. In her dissertation conducted with the Fraunhofer Institute for Physical Measurement Techniques IPM, Dr. Chiara Lindner developed a quantum Fourier transform spectrometer that can do just that – with just one millionth of the light intensity of standard spectrometers. For her work, she was awarded the Hugo Geiger Prize that honors outstanding doctoral theses in the field of ap-plied research.
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Lithium mining in the Upper Rhine Valley: Measurement technology for the efficient extraction in geothermal power plants

When it comes to the key raw material lithium, Germany almost exclusively relies on imports, even though the light metal is contained in geothermal brine. The departments of Geochemistry & Economic Geology at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology KIT are working on a method to extract lithium as a by-product of geothermal energy production. As part of the LiMo research project, Fraunhofer IPM is developing an optical sensor intended to make the extraction process more efficient.
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Integrated optical light sources for ion trap quantum computing

Quantum computing and neuromorphic computing are expected to take on computationally intensive tasks in the future. However, the step up from lab to real-world application for this next generation computing is yet to be realized, which is why the Research Fab Microelectronics Germany (FMD) has joined forces with the Fraunhofer Institute for Physical Measurement Techniques IPM in order to harness its expertise in the field of photonics.
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Compact system for topographical measurement of shallow bodies of water

The topography of bodies of water can be measured from the air using laser scanners. Laser bathymetry brings a number of advantages compared with using an echo sounder or other optical methods. As part of the ACQUA-3D research project, a team at Fraunhofer IPM is cooperating with the University of Stuttgart and application partners EOMAP GmbH and Geo Group GmbH to develop a particularly small and lightweight bathymetric measurement system for use on UAVs, for the particular application of measuring shallow bodies of water.
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Press Releases
by Fraunhofer IPM

Stay informed about current research, events or general news.

Annual Report 2020/2021


Scientific Publications

We regularly publish our research results in scientific journals and specialist journals.

Our address

Georges-Köhler-Allee 301
79110 Freiburg, Germany


Phone + 49 761 8857 0
Fax + 49 761 8857 224


How to reach us

Since August 2020, we are located in the immediate vicinity of the University of Freiburg's technical campus.



May 16, 2022

Note on cooperation in the face of the corona pandemic

All protective measures are lifted.