Milestone for photonics in Hanover

In the Clusters of Excellence PhoenixD and QuantumFrontiers, the LZH will significantly promote photonics research. (Photo: LZH)

Optics could soon come out of the 3D printer, the LZH is working on that in the Cluster of Excellence PhoenixD. (Photo: LZH)

In the Cluster of Excellence PhoenixD, the LZH will contribute its expertise in the field of additive manufacturing. (Photo: LZH)

In the future, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) will work directly on two of the Clusters of Excellence applied for by the Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Universität Hannover (LUH). The PhoenixD and QuantumFrontiers clusters were selected for funding by the German Research Foundation (DFG).

"The decision is a milestone for photonics research in Hanover," says Dietmar Kracht, Scientific-Technical Director of the LZH, about the decision.

"With this funding, we will significantly advance photonics research and bring innovations to the economy and everyday life more quickly," adds Dr.-Ing. Stefan Kaierle, also a Scientific-Technical Director of the LZH.

The LZH congratulates the universities of Lower Saxony and all participating scientists on this extraordinary success.

The LZH will be involved in the following clusters:

Introducing a paradigm shift in the production of optics is the goal of the Cluster of Excellence “Photonics, Optics, and Engineering - Innovation Across Disciplines” (PhoenixD). The idea behind it: weaving optical design, optical simulation and modern production methods into a single integrated platform. In that way, optical precision devices shall be additively manufactured in a quick and inexpensive way. PhoenixD is a cross-disciplinary initiative between mechanical engineering, physics, electrical engineering, computer science and chemistry. It combines first-class optics, production technology, as well as simulation and material expertise.

Among other things, PhoenixD will be working on controlling plants with the laser in agriculture, simplifying and promoting diagnostic procedures, developing adaptive eyeglass lenses or improving road safety through the use of optical units. Besides, the LZH will be contributing its expertise in the coating of optics.

Quantum Frontiers
In the Cluster "Light and Matter at the Quantum Frontier: Foundations of and Applications in Metrology" (QuantumFrontiers), an interdisciplinary network of physicists, engineers and scientists has set itself the goal of shifting the boundaries of the measurable. They want to be able to completely control quantum states of light and matter. That would be the basis for the metrology of tomorrow. This would have positive effects on navigation, time synchronization, cryptography, biological systems and materials science, too. Research on gravitational waves would benefit from this new level of precision as well. It would lay the foundation for detecting the "Big Bang". The research in the cluster is based upon the expired Cluster of Excellence QUEST of the LUH.

QuantumFrontiers and PhoenixD were applied for by the LUH together with the Technische Universität Braunschweig. The cluster proposals had prevailed against 195 draft applications of the first round. 88 projects were invited to elaborate in the second round, 57 of these were selected for funding.

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Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH)

As an independent, non-profit research institute, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) stands for innovative research, development and consulting. The LZH is supported by the Niedersachsen Ministry of Economic Affairs, Employment, Transport and Digitalisation and is dedicated to the selfless promotion of applied research in the field of photonics and laser technology. Founded in 1986, over 170 employees are now working for the LZH.

The focus of the LZH lies on the fields of optical components and systems, optical production technologies, and biomedical photonics. Interdisciplinary cooperation between natural scientists and mechanical engineers makes innovative approaches to challenges from the most different areas possible: from the development of components for specific laser systems to process developments for the most diverse laser applications, for example for medical technology or lightweight construction in the automotive sector. Eighteen spin off companies have emerged from the LZH up to now. Thus, the LZH has created a strong transfer between fundamental sciences, application oriented research, and industry.