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, thus enabling 100 percent quality control in the production line.


Business Unit

Object and
Shape Detection

We develop customized laser scanners, camera and lighting systems that capture the geometry and position of individual infrastructure objects or large structures quickly and precisely, primarily from mobile platforms. Our measurment solutions cover the entire 3D data process chain: from robust systems to AI-based data analysis.


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.


Powerful, compact and now also fast: shape-memory alloy actuators

Many applications, for example in toolmaking and mechanical engineering, require actuators to convert electrical signals into mechanical motion. If the application requires large forces while using minimal installation space, actuators made of thermal shape-memory alloys are the best choice. Their sole drawback lies in their slow cooling process and the resulting low dynamics. Three Fraunhofer institutes joined forces to develop a new class of high load shape-memory actuators that are the first to quickly switch large forces with minimal size and high dynamics.
more info


Optical sensor enables 100 percent quality control of ultra-thin barrier layers

A new type of sensor makes it possible to test functional barrier layers on plastic products during production for the first time. The Film-Inspect system was developed by the Fraunhofer Institute for Physical Measurement Techniques IPM in cooperation with plasma system specialist Plasma Electronic GmbH. The sensor uses infrared measurement technology to detect thin coatings with a thickness of less than 10 nm to 200 nm inline.
more info


Sensor measures oxygen content of breath

Oxygen saturation in the blood that is either too low or too high can cause lasting physical harm or even death. This is why patients’ oxygen concentrations are monitored continuously in both intensive care and trauma units. However, the pulse oximeters typically clipped onto a patient’s fingertip for this purpose can be unreliable. Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Physical Measurement Techniques IPM have developed a fluorescence-based sensor that measures the oxygen content of people’s breath directly and in real time in an effort to provide accurate figures in the future. The sensor determines the O2 concentration in the respiratory gas according to the principle of fluorescence quenching, which allows conclusions to be drawn about the oxygen saturation in the blood.
more info


Controlled laser drilling of microvias

In the production of printed circuit boards (PCBs), micrometer-diameter vias – known as microvias – are drilled through multilayer PCBs. Lasers can drill through these structures with high throughput and micrometer precision. A measurement technique based on laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS) is set to check the quality of the holes inline and control the process.
more info

Press Releases
by Fraunhofer IPM

Stay informed about current research, events or general news.


Annual Report 2022/2023


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.