Inspection of an electron-beam silicon wafer.

Finished projects (selection)

A selection of publicly funded structural projects conducted and successfully finished over the last years by various ACP principal scientists.
Inspection of an electron-beam silicon wafer.
Image: Jan-Peter Kasper (University of Jena)

German Research Foundation (DFG)

  • Collaborative Research Center SFB TR7 - Gravitational Wave Astronomy: Methods-Sources-Observations

    Three funding periods 2003-2014

    With his general theory of relativity, Albert Einstein profoundly changed our physical world view. In particular, Einstein recognized that the gravitational effect between masses can be understood as the geometry of space-time. While at the beginning the focus was on experimental verification of the theory and the interpretation of the new concepts, today it is primarily about astrophysical applications of the theory.

    This Collaborative Research Center/Transregio, which brought together around 50 scientists and numerous doctoral and diploma students, was mainly concerned with the theoretical modeling of the cosmic sources of gravitational radiation, the improvement of the detector concept and the evaluation of the expected gravitational wave signals.

    Since the discovery and interpretation of the radio source PSR 1913+16 as a binary star system by J. A. Taylor and R. A. Hulse, gravitational waves have not been a theoretical construct, but rather a phenomenon indirectly proven through astronomical observation. The direct (terrestrial) registration of gravitational wave signals places the highest demands on experimental technology and has not yet been achieved. However, there is reasonable hope that the large laser interferometers LIGO (USA), VIRGO (Italy/France), GEO 600 (Germany/Great Britain) and TAMA (Japan), which are currently in the testing phase, will soon measure the first cosmic gravitational wave signals.

    It is understandable that this experimental development must be accompanied by major theoretical efforts: the physical models of cosmic gravitational radiation sources (supernova explosions, mergers of binary stars, collapse phenomena) were included in the prediction of the signal shapes required by the experiment. On the other hand, conclusions about the physics of cosmic sources were drawn from the signals received. To achieve this goal, experimental and theoretical physicists, astrophysicists and mathematicians from the universities of Jena, Tübingen and Hannover as well as the Max Planck Institutes for Gravitational Physics in Golm and for Astrophysics in Garching worked closely together.

    Learn moreExternal linkde
  • Collaborative Research Center CRC TR18 - Relativistic Laser-Plasma-Dynamics

    Three funding periods 2004-2016

    Innovative developments of new laser technologies ("chirped pulse amplification") during the last few years have made possible the generation of laser pulses of sub-picosecond pulse duration with an intensity of several peta-watt.

    These ultra-short, super-intensive laser pulses produce energy densities higher than those existing in the sun’s core. This provides the opportunity to research fundamental physical processes and opens the possibilities of fascinating applications in a completely novel parameter-range. The laser-interaction with plasmas supplies unique conditions for the studies of processes in the relativistic regime.

    The topics of this Transregional Collaborative Research Centre ranged from the production and use of attosecond-pulses (trillion part of a second) to the research of exotic states of matter under relativistic conditions. In particular, in the Transregional Collaborative Research Centre, new photon and particle sources were developed and physical processes in the relativistic regime were researched. Not only will this research resulted in theoretical and experimental advances regarding the development of an accelerator technology called "bubble accelerator", but in addition, proton beams were produced which had application to the novel analysis of processes taking place inside a laser-produced plasma.

    Funded by the DFG, in partnership with Heinrich Heine Universität Düsseldorf,External link Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität MünchenExternal link, Max Born Institute for Nonlinear Optics and Short Pulse Spectroscopy BerlinExternal link (MBI),External link and Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics Garching (MPQ).External link

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  • Core Facility - Jena Biophotonic and Imaging Laboratory

    Funding period 2016-2020

    The Leibniz Institute of Photonic Technology (IPHT) in cooperation with Friedrich Schiller University (FSU) and the Jena University Hospital (JUH) lunched a Core Facility that unifies spectroscopic and spectrometric techniques and devices present at the respective facilities in Jena. The aim was to provide national and international scientists expert-supported access to multimodal spectrometric and spectroscopic techniques for the analysis of cells and tissue. One thematic focus was on the analysis of pathogens.

    This particular focus was fostered by the Jena Center for Sepsis Control and Care (CSCC) and the local research campus InfectoGnostics. The second thematic focus laid on molecular imaging of tumour tissue that is supported by strong oncological research and various third party funds at the JUH. Both foci were aided by established statistical modelling and image analysis. The intended Core Facility was open for further medically orientated topics.

    The across-locations-management of the Core Facility was in charge of the use of resources and prepare an internal regulation to organize cooperation with scientist as well as SOP for measurement and data handling. After publishing or patenting, all data from measurements shall be made available to other scientist by depositing the complete information in the open DFG RIsources register. Workshops and summer-schools organized by the Core Facility led to a further dissemination of expertise. The proposed Core Facility was highly interdisciplinary in its orientation. By its strong expertise in spectrometric and spectroscopic techniques, statistical modelling and image analysis as well as instrument development, life science and medical research, the Core Facility ultimately led in the medium term to an enhancement of diagnosis in medicine.

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  • International Research Training Group IRTG 2101 - Guided light, tightly packed

    Funding period 2015-2021

    The International Research Training Group “Guided light, tightly packed: novel concepts, components and applications” provided excellent academic training for talented young scientists in a high impact research programme driven by a transatlantic network of one German and three Canadian partners. 

    The research programme of the GRK 2101 focused on optical waveguides and related technologies to confine and control light in ultra-compact devices, which allowed generating, manipulating, and sensing light with unmatched precision and efficiency. Forefront basic research was focused on novel fiber structures, precision laser structuring, and photonic materials with tailored properties. Based on the developed fundamental concepts and technologies for the dense integration of photonic elements with comprehensive functionality, GRK 2101 investigated their exploitation for the realisation of novel telecommunication devices, biomedical sensors, integrated quantum systems, and laser sources, as well as production technologies, and green technologies.

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  • Research Training Group (FOR) 1523 - Quantum and Gravitational Fields

    Two funding periodes 2009-2018

    The theory of quantum fields is of great importance for gaining deeper insight into the fundamental laws of nature and has an increasing impact on novel applications. Quantum fields successfully describe the fundamental interactions in elementary particle physics and are of utmost importance for theories beyond the standard model. At the same time, the theory of quantum fields plays an increasingly important role in micro- and nanotechnology and is an indispensable tool to study phase transitions in many-body systems. On large scales, the universal gravitational force described by the gravitational field dominates. Through the burgeoning field of gravitational wave astronomy with its far-reaching implications for astrophysics and cosmology, a deeper knowledge of realistic solutions of the Einstein field equations is urgently needed.

    Research in field theory profits considerably from mathematical methods and the interdependency of physics and mathematics. For example, the methods from modern differential geometry are needed for solving and investigating nonlinear field equations. Methods of resolution and thereby emerging integrable structures are at the interface between field theory and differential geometry. At the same time numerical and stochastic methods become increasingly important, for example in simulations of quantum field theories in elementary-particle and solid-state physics. 

    Theoretical physics and applied mathematics are main areas of research at the Friedrich Schiller University of Jena. Our hiring policy has strengthened the areas of numerical relativity, quantum field theory and differential geometry considerably. By combining the research competence of the applicants, as for example documented by their active involvement in three DFG Collaborative Research Centres and one DFG Priority Programme an attractive and internationally visible graduate centre emerges. For that purpose, we offered a well-structured and research-oriented schedule of lecture courses and seminars on specialised topics, regular workshops, internal meetings and a programme of international visitors and exchange opportunities. Partners from various universities have agreed to cooperate with the graduate centre and to help with the training of the students. This was achieved by hosting some of the graduate students, by advising them or by offering special lectures.

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European Union and European Research Council (ERC)

  • Erasmus PLUS International Dimensions 2017/18 - Research and Study Exchange program with the USA funded by the European Commission
  • FunGlass - Centre for functional and surface-functionalized glass (EU H2020 Teaming 739566)

    Funding period 2017-2024

    The project aimed at upgrading the existing Centre of excellence for ceramics, glass and silicate materials (CEKSiM) in Trenčín, Slovakia, to internationally recognized Centre for Functional and Surface-functionalized Glasses (FunGlass) focusing on glasses with special functional properties and functionalization to modify their properties and add new functionalities. Key activities of the project included training and applied research to tap into a local know-how in development of the competitive advantage of the region by training skilled research personnel and by pursuing opportunities to establish partnership with regional and EU glass industries and international networking to form creative international environment. The role of the Centre was seen in all stages of R&D activities – solving the fundamental questions, developing new concepts and strategies, identification of their business potential, and developing laboratory-scale verified technologies (TRL 4) to technologies validated and demonstrated in relevant environments (TRL 5 and 6) in close cooperation with industrial partners including SMEs.

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  • Image-IN - Imaging Infections: integrated, multiscale visualization of infections and host response

    Funding period 2017-2021

    ImageInLife is an EU Horizon 2020 Marie Skłodowska-Curie European Training Network on Multilevel Bioimaging, Analysis and Modelling of Vertebrate Development that addresses the challenge of understanding how cells behave to build organisms as complex as vertebrates. It brings together leading European research groups in the field and partners from companies that aim to commercialise corresponding tools.

    The main objectives were:

    • To use the vertebrate embryo as a model to develop new tools to image vertebrate organismes;
    • To train future bio-imagers through research and to expose them to the richest environment to foster a successful career.
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  • International Coherent Amplification Network (ICAN)

    Funding period 2012-2013

    The EU-funded ICAN consortium aimed at studying a novel laser concept for High Energy Particle acceleration, known as CAN for Coherent Amplification Network that would guarantee high peak power and high average powers while exhibiting high efficiency, >30%. The approach was based on fibre amplification. 

    The proposed technical evaluation was performed by combining the expertise, know-how, and knowledge of a team of world leading experts coming from different horizons of optical science, technology and industry, including femtosecond fibre optics, instrumental optics, astronomy, manufacturing, and marketing. Although our primary target application was particle acceleration for high-energy physics, our approach had direct bearing on other fields. It was done through conferences, workshops and meetings among the participants.

    Alongside those events mixing the laser and high energy physics communities, the ICAN project aimed to identify and approach the Funding Agencies that may contribute to the construction of an infrastructure based on the ICAN concept. The final outcome of the study included an implementation plan and a road map pointing out the most significant technical roadblocks, proposed solutions, manufacturing methods, and lobbying strategies to increase international membership, awareness, market study and
    business plan.

    In partnership with Ecole Polytechnique ParisExternal link, Optoelectronics Research Centre at the University of Southampton,External link European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN)External link and Fraunhofer Institute of AppliedOptics and Precision EngineeringJenaExternal link

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  • Laserlab Europe - Integrated Initiative of European Laser Infrastructures

    Funding period 2015-2019

    Laserlab-Europe, an Integrated Initiative of European Laser Research Infrastructures, understands itself as the central place in Europe where new developments in laser research take place in a flexible and co-ordinated fashion beyond the potential of a national scale. The Consortium brought together 35 leading organisations in laser-based inter-disciplinary research from 18 countries. Its main objectives were to maintain a sustainable inter-disciplinary network of European national laboratories; to strengthen the European leading role in laser research through Joint Research Activities; and to offer access to state-of-the-art laser research facilities to researchers from all fields of science and from any laboratory in order to perform world-class research.

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  • LOGICLAB - Molecular logic lab-on-a-vesicle for intracellular diagnostics

    Funding period 2018-2022

    LOGIC LAB (Molecular logic lab-on-a-vesicle for intracellular diagnostics), a Maric-Sklodowska-Curie Action under the Horizon2020 framework, built a multi-faceted and multi-sectoral research network with the aim to establish a novel type of molecular logic sensors that reliably operate in biological media – a crucial requirement for their application as rapid and easy-to-handle tools for intracellular diagnostics. With excellent cross-disciplinary scientific and complementary training, we educated highly-skilled young scientists in the fields of chemistry, physics and biology.

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  • NANOPHI - Europe-Asia-Pacific Exchange program in Nanophotonics, Erasmus Mundus Mobility project funded by the European Commission
  • Perspect-H2O

    Funding period 2012-2016

    PERSPECT-H2O enabled spectroscopy/theory guided design of supramolecular photocatalysts for water splitting, and hence the generation of molecular hydrogen as a renewable fuel. The network integrated leading European groups and national research centers, focusing on a central theme of contemporary research in homogeneous photocatalysis and integration of supramolecular photocatalysts towards the construction of functional materials. The Action combines synthetic chemistry, photophysics and photochemistry, electrochemistry, and theory aiming at (i) a detailed molecular mechanistic understanding of photoinduced reaction steps in supramolecular photocatalytic water splitting, and (ii) development of functional systems. The envisioned approach identified relations between molecular and electronic structure, photoinduced structural and electronic dynamics, catalytic efficiency, and the stability of long-lived intermediates and catalytically active species. Finally it yielded functional photocatalytic materials based on earth-abundant elements and prototypes of supramolecular photocatalytic water-splitting systems.

    In partership with University of ViennaExternal link, Johannes Kepler UniversityExternal link, Institute of Theoretical Physics, University libre de BruxellesExternal link, University of CyprusExternal link, J. Heyrovsky Institute of Physical Chemistry of ASExternal link, University of Southern DenmarkExternal link, University of Jyvskyl Nanoscience CenterExternal link, Institut de Chimie CNRSExternal link, Leibniz Institute of Photonic Technology,External link University Rostock,External link University of Athens,External link University of Crete,External link Dublin City University,External link Technion Israel Institute of Technology,External link Università di Cagliari,External link Università di MessinaExternal link, University of Twente,External link Gdansk University of Technology, External linkCMU PortugalExternal link, University of Santiago de CompostelaExternal link,External link Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona,External link Uppsala University,External link Lund University,External link University of BernExternal link, Istanbul Technical University,External link KTO Karatay University, The University of Nottingham,External link and Queen Mary & Westfield College.External link

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  • Photonics4life - European Network of Excellence for Biophotonics

    Funding period 2008-2012

    Today Biophotonics is an emerging multidisciplinary research area, embracing all light-based technologies applied to the life sciences and medicine. Enhancing diagnosis, therapy and follow-up care, Biophotonics drives the trend towards personalized medicine and plays a crucial role in limiting health-care costs and appropriately addressing the accelerating challenges associated with population aging and the consequent increase in age-related diseases. Its economic and socio-political importance is reflected in the enormous annual growth rates of industries in this field.

    As a Network of Excellence, PHOTONICS4LIFE aimed to provide a coherent framework for research in the strongly fragmented field of Biophotonics in Europe. One of the challenging tasks of PHOTONICS4LIFE was therefore to map and to overview the research and technological developments across these various subdisciplines with their manifold but not sufficiently explored interdependences.PHOTONICS4LIFE targets to bridge the gaps between the different research communities ranging from Physics and Engineering via Chemistry and Physical Chemistry to Biology and Medicine for the analysis of cell processes, for non- and minimally-invasive diagnosis and therapy and for point-of-care diagnostics.PHOTONICS4LIFE aimed to link the expertise of research institutes towards the SME's and large companies in order to foster Biophotonics research and to strengthen the economical competitiveness of Europe in the global Biophotonics market.

    PHOTONICS4LIFE was composed of partners standing on the forefront of Biophotonics research and covering together the broadness of fields including the related ethical issues. The partners worked towards a durable integration, providing a critical mass that acted as a nucleus for integrated fundamental and applied Biophotonics research across Europe and reached out to the international scene. With its objectives, PHOTONICS4LIFE aimed directly at improving the quality of life.

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  • Raman4Clinics

    Funding period 2014-2018

    Raman4Clinics pooled European expertise to step forward in the field of novel, label-free and rapid technologies based on a wide variety of Raman spectroscopies for the clinical diagnostics of body fluids, bacteria, cells and tissues. International interdisciplinary networking opportunities were offered between scientists within biophotonics, chemometricians and physicians/clinicians. All participating research group were united in pursuing the goal of giving a major impetus in this vibrant field of research by aligning it to clinical requirements and application aspects (the unmet medical need) by means of COST as the best mechanism to progress the state-of-the-art. The Action created a platform for scientific communication, exchange, collaboration and for new research activities, combining the partners’ expertise in technology, component, system and methodology development and medical application. As a result, novel technology portfolios for clinical diagnostics emerged to the benefit of patients as well as to the economy.

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  • SURQUID - Super-resolving Quantum Imaging and Detection (EU FET-OPEN 899824)

    Diffraction sets a fundamental limit to the resolution of imaging and remote sensing systems, but photonic quantum technologies provide a route around this barrier. The EU-funded SURQUID project introduced innovative techniques that enabled light detection and ranging (LIDAR) devices to achieve super-resolution below the Rayleigh diffraction limit and super-sensitivity below the shot noise limit. The novelty of the high-accuracy LIDAR system for quantum imaging was in the combination of quantum homodyne detection and non-classical light. To achieve its goals, the project merged expertise in ultrafast single photon detection, nanophotonic circuit design and quantum light generation.

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Federal Government and Industry

Free State of Thuringia (supported by the EU)

  • 2D-SENS - Thuringian Research Group for for single-photon laser-diodes in quantum communication

    Funding period 2019-2022

    Funded by the Free State of ThuringiaExternal link, in partnership with the Technical University of Ilmenau.External link

  • ACP2020

    Funding period 2014-2020

    Agenda for Excellent Photonics, funded by the Thuringian Ministry for Economy, Science, and Digital Society (TMWWDG) in the second phase of the ProExcellence program.

  • ACP-IPHT-FIB (2015 FOR 0005)

    Funding period 2015-2017

    Combined focused electron and ion beam facility for nanostructuring and characterization at the Abbe Center of Photonics together with the Leibniz Institute of Photonic Technology (IPHT) - funded by the Free State of ThuringiaExternal link and the European Funds for Regional Development (EFRE).External link

  • ACP-MESOLAB (2015 FGI 0024)

    Funding period 2016-2018

    Technology equipment for a mid-infrared laser excitation and soft x-ray spectroscopy imaging of biological samples at the Abbe Center of Photonics - funded by the State of ThuringiaExternal link and the European Funds for Regional Development (EFRE).External link


    Funding period 2017-2019

    Technology Equipment for the high-resolution imaging, analysis and modification of micro- and nanostructured materials at the Abbe Center of Photonics - funded by the Free State of ThuringiaExternal link and the European Funds for Regional Development (EFRE).External link

  • CNQN

    Funding period 2017-2020

    Characterization Laboratory for Nonlinear Quantum and Nano Optics at ACP, funded by the State of Thuringia.

  • Digital Innovation Hub Photonics

    Funding period 2021-2023

    The "Digital Innovation Hub Photonics" (DIHP) was a project of the state of Thuringia, supported by the Thuringian Ministry for Economic Affairs, Science, and Digital Society. It aimed to promote startups and innovations in the field of optics and photonics on the Jena Research Campus Beutenberg. The DIHP began as a pilot project in early 2019 and was located at the Photonics Performance Center of the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Optics and Precision Engineering IOF and the Institute of Applied Physics IAP at Friedrich Schiller University Jena.

    Since early 2022, the consortium entered the second phase comprising a total of five partners: Abbe Center of Photonics at Friedrich Schiller University Jena (ACP), Leibniz Institute for Natural Product Research and Infection Biology HKI, Leibniz Institute of Photonic Technologies IPHT, Helmholtz Institute Jena HI-J, and Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Optics and Precision Engineering IOF. The task of this consortium was to support start-up teams from various institutes.

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    Funding period 2020-2022

    Thuringian Research Group for for single-photon laser-diodes in quantum communication, funded by the Free State of ThuringiaExternal link, in partnership with the Technical University of Ilmenau.External link


    Funding period 2018-2021

    Research Group for Quantum Optical Imaging by Entangled Photons, funded by the Country of ThuringiaExternal link, in partnership with the Technical University of Ilmenau.External link

  • MOFA - Mode stable high power fiber laser

    Funding period 2012-2014

    Mode stable high power fiber laser, collaborative research project funded by the Thuringian Ministry for Education, Science, and Culture in the first phase of the ProExcellence program. Partners: Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Optics and Precision Engineering Jena (IOF)External link and LeibnizExternal link Institute for Photonic Technology Jena (IPHT).External link

  • Quantum Hub Thuringia

    Funding period 2021-2023

    Thuringia's so far largest project in the areas of quantum communication, quantum sensing and quantum imaging, performed by a consortium of the most experienced research institutions in the field and coordinated by ACP Jena. It pursued the mission to work on fundamental scientific questions in the areas of quantum communication, quantum sensing and quantum imaging and thus to shape the upcoming technological upheaval in quantum technologies for the Free State of Thuringia as a future perspective. The consortium of the Quantum Hub Thuringia was formed by

    • the Abbe Center of Photonics of the Friedrich Schiller University Jena,
    • the Technical University of Ilmenau,
    • the DLR Institute of Data Science Jena,
    • the Helmholtz Institute Jena,
    • the Leibniz Institute of Photonic Technology IPHT Jena,
    • the Fraunhofer Institute of Applied Optics and Precision Engineering IOF Jena,
    • the Fraunhofer Institute for Digital Media Technology IDMT Ilmenau,
    • the Fraunhofer IOSB, Institutsteil Angewandte Systemtechnik AST, Ilmenau,
    • the Fraunhofer Project Hub for Microelectronic and Optical Systems for Biomedicine Erfurt,
    • the IMMS Institut für Mikroelektronik- und Mechatronik-Systeme gGmbH in Ilmenau,
    • the Cis Research Institute of Microsensing GmbH Erfurt.
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  • ThürQuant, infrastructural measure for InQuoSens

    Funding period 2022-2023

    Infrastructural project to implement a photonic quantum computer, funded by the Country of ThuringiaExternal link.

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Foundations and others

  • Abbe Center of Photonics

    Funding period 2009-2010

    Concept for structural measures ('Strukturkonzept'), funded by the Carl Zeiss Foundation.External link

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  • ACP Alumni Strategy

    Funding period 2013-2014

    Concept to improve research alumni relationships at ACP, funded by the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation.

  • digiPHOTON

    Funding period 2020-2022

    Initiative to establish and improve digital eduation at the Abbe School of Photonics, funded within the IP digital program of the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD).External link

  • InfectoOptics

    Funding period 2015-2023

    The Leibniz ScienceCampus InfectoOptics in Jena was a collaborative research project of the Leibniz Institutes HKI and IPHT with the Friedrich Schiller University Jena and other extra university research institutions. Researchers from the life sciences and optics/photonics closely investigated and combated infectious diseases by means of novel optical technologies. The project was funded by the Leibniz Association.

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  • Photonic Analytics for Biomedicine

    Funding period 2012-2014

    Concept for structural measures ('Strukturkonzept'), funded by the Carl Zeiss FoundationExternal link