Optical Sensors

© Fraunhofer IZM

Optical sensing has great potentials of high resolution, electromagnetic immunity, electrical isolation and wide dynamic range. Such features make optical sensors of great importance in applications such as telecommunications, aerospace, medicine, environmental and atmospheric monitoring. An optical sensor consists mainly of four parts: an optical source (LED, laser diode), a sensing element (optical fibers, planar optical waveguides, and 3D optical microresonators), and optical detector (optical spectrum analyzer, oscilloscope) and data processing.

At Fraunhofer, small optical sensors based on optical fibers and optical microresonators are explored in fields of aerospace, gas detection and medical diagnostics. Low-cost manufacturing, assembling and packaging strategies of such high-sensitivity optical sensors are deeply investigated to bring them to the industrial sector.

Optical microresonators

Optical microresonators based on whispering gallery modes are powerful sensing platforms for applications, such as medical diagnostics, food safety, gas detection, environmental monitoring and inertial sensors.

Fiber optic gyroscopes

Inertial sensors are used to measure rotations with high accuracy and high precision for industrial applications as such automotive and aerospace.


Fiber Optic Interconnects and Sensors

Projects & News



Point-of-care diagnostics for multiple diseases, courtesy of photonics technology

To mark the successful completion of their research on the PoC-BoSens platform, the international project consortium led by Fraunhofer IZM can announce the birth of a new generation of such diagnostic systems: a photonic platform for precise point-of-care diagnostics.




The PHOCNOSIS project aims at the development and the preclinical validation of a nanotechnology-based handheld point-of-care testing (POCT) analysis device for its application in the early diagnosis of cardiovascular diseases (CVD).




The InSPECT project aims at developing and integrating photonic building blocks for a new class of low-cost miniaturized spectral tissue sensing devices.