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.


World record: power density increased in magneto­caloric cooling systems

With an innovative concept for heat transfer, researchers at Fraunhofer IPM together with industrial partners have been able to significantly increase the efficiency of magnetocaloric cooling systems. As part of a follow-up project, the team plans to apply this new technology to a refrigerator for medical products and further develop the technology to work towards marketability.
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New methods for detecting single molecules

Resistance to antibiotics is on the rise worldwide. Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Physical Measurement Techniques IPM alongside the Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich have developed a process for rapidly detecting multidrug-resistant pathogens. The unique feature: Even one single molecule of DNA is sufficient for pathogen detection. In future, the platform could be introduced as part of point-of-care diagnostics on hospital wards or in medical practices as an alternative to the established PCR analyses or in combination with other diagnostic methods. The system will be presented at MEDICA 2021.
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Quality assurance in fuel cell production

Bipolar plates are an essential component of fuel cells and are conventionally made of graphite. When it comes to efficiency and cost-effectiveness, metallic bipolar plates are far superior. However, the material forming process often engenders problems which impact quality. In the AKS-Bipolar research project, Fraunhofer IPM together with the University of Stuttgart and the industrial partners ThyssenKrupp and Chemische Werke Kluthe sets out to develop a digital-holographic sensor for comprehensive, in-line quality control of metallic bipolar plates.
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A question of endurance: Fraunhofer IPM develops an elastocaloric cooling system with long-term stability

Caloric cooling systems have the potential to become the environmentally-friendly alternative to the widely used compressor-based cooling systems. The greatest challenge elastocaloric systems are facing is ensuring the long-term stability of the elastocaloric material while maintaining a high power density. A system presented by Fraunhofer IPM in the journal Communications Physics outperforms previous systems by several orders of magnitude when it comes to long-term stability – at the same time as achieving a high specific cooling power.
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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.



Note on cooperation in the face of the corona pandemic