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Micro actuators and sensors are the fundamentals of miniaturized, intelligent and networked systems. Since 2012, a completely new type of powerful actuators has been developed and tested in the project group Mesoscopic Actuators and Systems MESYS of the Fraunhofer Institute for Photonic Microsystems IPMS in cooperation with the Brandenburg University of Technology BTU Cottbus - Senftenberg. Electrostatic actuators are used to move plates or bend cantilevers and therefore deflect light or laser beams, move liquids or generate ultrasound. The researchers aim is to solve fundamental problems and limitations of conventional electrostatic actuators, for which large deflections can only be realized in combination with large dimensions and high energy consumption. Using a suitable lever principle, the researchers developed a new class of electrostatic bending actuators that of an extremely compact design, large deflections and no hysteresis. Using conventional silicon manufacturing processes, these new actuators can be integrated directly into semiconductor components and CMOS circuits, thus enabling cost-effective volume production. Thanks to high performance and scalability of the patented actuators, various fields of application and design possibilities can be adressed. Optical applications are, for example, high-precision positioning drives of micro-tilt mirrors or lens systems for laser beam deflection, pico projectors, 3D-endoscopes or microscopic applications. NED-actuators are also suitable as optical switches or the highly precise positioning of optical waveguides. Furthermore, a variety of non-optical applications can be addressed, such as micro pumps and valves for microfluidic systems or as miniaturized loudspeakers for hearing aids, smartphones and wearables. Contrary to existing micromechanical loudspeakers NED-based speakers offer both an extremely compact design and high performance.
Fraunhofer IZM specializes in industry-oriented applied research. Fraunhofer IZM develops assembly and interconnection technology, also known as electronic/photonic packaging. Almost invisible and undervalued by many, electronic packaging is at the heart of every electronic application. Our technologies connect the individual components, protect components and devices from vibration and moisture, and reliably dissipate heat. Fraunhofer IZM thus ensures that electronic devices continue to function reliably in even the harshest conditions – we even integrate electronics into golf balls. Modern packaging technologies make developing smaller and smaller products possible. We process ICs thinner than a sheet of paper.
The business area Photonics combines Fraunhofer IZM’s skills and know-how to tackle challenges in telecommunication, data communication, light generation, materials processing and optical sensors.
We pursue different goals in each of these areas. In communication, broadband capacity, power efficiency, high, heterogeneous packaging density are the main focus, while in lighting, we aim to improve high power density, thermal management, multifunctional integration, wavelength conversion and beam guiding. In sensor technology, application-specific heterointegration of excitation source, sensor and analysis electronics take center-stage. However, three goals are pursued across all these areas: volume adjusted manufacturing technology, cost-efficiency and high yield.
The HTW offers an impressive range of study programmes in five different departments spanning fields from engineering, computer science and economics, to culture and design. Traditional applied sciences like mechanical engineering, automotive engineering and business administration go hand-in-hand with more contemporary and innovative studies such as Information Technology/Networked Systems, Life Science Engineering, Environmental Engineering/Regenerative Energies and Microsystems Technology.
Let us consider the closer microsystems technology. Today this item is penetrating nearly every area of everyday life. Automotive technology, multimedia, medical engineering, bioengineering and genetic engineering, environmental protection – highly complex microsystems can be found everywhere. This study programme at the HTW Berlin runs for seven terms during one of which company placement is done. Apart from imparting students with solid skills in the core areas of engineering, it also provides access to modern simulation and CAD technology, computer science, electronics, sensors and microtechnology.
The HTW Berlin is regularly distinguished for the high quality of its study programmes. Students who wish to spend a part of their studies abroad will find that the HTW offers ideal conditions: it cultivates ties with over 100 other universities worldwide, thus maintaining strong bonds with collaborative partners.
The HTW encourages research and development projects on a wide range spectrum. Within Berlin, the Federal Republic of Germany and Europe, the HTW works together with small and medium-sized businesses, unions, administrations, associations, research and training institutions, and other individuals to fulfill these objectives and goals.
Technical University Wildau – A Competent Partner for Commercial Businesses and Scientific Institutions
The opening of the Technical University Wildau in 1991 has resulted in academic teaching as well as scientific research and development becoming firmly established and highly esteemed in the region to the south-east of Berlin. Not only businesses and scientific institutions, but also public administrative bodies all profit directly from this development by being able to recruit Wildau graduates directly as young specialists and managers. They also benefit from R&D cooperation and projects, networks for knowledge and technology transfer in addition to further-training programmes which can be tailor-made for companies and a wide range of institutions.
Documented quality control and direct practical relevance are the outstanding hallmarks of 28 degree courses on offer, ranging from engineering, business and administration to legal studies, available both on campus and via distance learning. With more than 4,200 students Wildau is the biggest university in the regional state of Brandenburg. Changing from diploma to bachelor and master programmes has considerably strengthened the academic character of the Technical University Wildau.
Photonic, Laser and Plasma Technologies
Professor Sigurd Schrader’s working group is active in the areas of photonics, optical technologies, laser and plasma technologies, both in teaching and applied research. This group is involved in the following fields:
- Material syntheses and experiments
- Producing optoelectronic elements and components
- Characterizing optoelectronic elements and components
- Process characterization and optimization
This research group cooperates closely with industrial partners, mainly small and medium-sized companies situated in the Berlin-Brandenburg capital region. Additionally, as a participant in national and international networks it has considerable contact with research institutions and universities. There is also direct cooperation on a contractual basis with the IHP Leibniz Institute for Innovative Microelectronics Ltd in Frankfurt an der Oder, which had led to their joint research and training centre (Joint Lab). The main focus of this activity is to develop concepts for innovative silicon based elements and technologies for high-speed electronics and photonics. Among Joint Lab’s activities are experiments aimed at generating graphic layers in order to attain higher limit frequencies up to the terahertz level. This may lead to new applications in sensorics and medical technology.
Microsystems Technology is represented in the teaching and applied research carried out by Professor Andreas Foitzik. Hardware content is predominant in this field and the focus is on biological microsystems technology for life-science products and applications. A dust-free room (for structures as small as a nanometre) and a plastics laboratory (for the quick implementation of prototypes) are available. The wide range of research areas includes:
- Elements for biochips and biosensors
- Reactors in macro and micro fields (including microfluidics)
- Processing surface structures
- Constructing and joining technology (joining smaller elements to a larger system)
- Integrating circuits (signal connection between the micro and macro world)
- Measuring and regulating the overall system
- Micro injection moulding of small plastic elements
- Cutting plastic or metal micro elements
- Mechanical and optical material examination
The group’s expertise and infrastructure are available for applications beyond biological microsystems technology.
The main task of the company is to organize a modern and competitive knowledge and technology transfer at the University of Potsdam as well as in the region, but also on a national and international scale. The goal is the effective addition of excellence in research and teaching by a professional transfer of results from science and research.
The Department of Executive Education currently focuses on:
• Master degree programs in the areas of Public Administration and Private Management,
• Certificate courses in Mediation
• Scientific training courses;
• International projects in further education;
• Projects for refugees and migrants.
The projects of the Department of Applied Research & Development mainly focus on:
• Basic research;
• Applied research and development;
• Contract research;
• Scientific and technical consulting and services.
Important research areas are especially antibody research, inorganic chemistry research to improve the recycling of valuable precious and rare earth metals, laser development, material research of innovative polymer materials, geoscience research and consulting services.
The Department of UP Transfer Services offers the following services:
• Conference services mainly for scientific events;
• Patent licensing for higher education and research institutions of Brandenburg (Project “Brainshell”);
• UniShop of the University of Potsdam, selling a great variety of merchandising products;
• Project management and controlling;
• Administrative services.