Group Integrated Sensor Systems

The group’s research focuses on developing gas-sensitive materials, micro-optic infrared components and compact gas sensor systems. Drawing on our expertise in microsystems engineering, we design miniaturized system components and sensor systems as MEMS (micro-electro-mechanical systems) and MOEMS (micro-opto-electro-mechanical systems). Ensuring the robustness, reliability and energy efficiency of the modular gas sensor systems is of the utmost importance. The areas of application range from environmental measurement technology to personal protection, and detection is possible from just a few ppm to several percent. The customized gas sensors developed by Fraunhofer IPM help, for example, to guarantee optimal air quality or detect toxic gases at an early stage.

Gas sensitive materials

  • Materials synthesis and processing, layers of a few nm to some µm, coatings of micro-structured substrates (MEMS)
  • Semiconductor gas sensors: metal oxide layers such as SnO2, WO3 or Cr2–xTixO3+z with catalytic additives
  • Colorimetric gas sensors: complex compounds such as an Rh complex for selective CO detection and porphyrins for NO2 detection

Micro-optic infrared components

  • Micro-optic components for wavelengths ranging from 3 to 20 µm
  • Infrared emitter: e.g. modulated up to a frequency of 10 Hz (up to 750 °C)
  • IR detectors: e.g. PbSe photodiodes for wavelengths ranging from 3 to 5 µm
  • Diffractive optics: e.g. Fresnel lenses for the mid-infrared range

Miniaturized gas sensor systems

  • Integration of gas-sensitive materials and/or optical components in energy-efficient gas sensor systems
  • Modular structure with application-specific sensors, evaluation electronics and control electronics
  • Photoacoustic systems: e.g. miniaturized for selective CO2 detection or UV-based for SO2 detection
  • Filter photometer: e.g. for ethylene detection