Niedersachsen Institutes of Technology (NTH)
Joining forces – experiencing cooperation

With around 23,000 students enrolled in Architecture, Mathematics, Computer Science, Natural Science
and Engineering at the three participating universities, NTH is one of the largest research and educational
institutions in the German academic landscape.
This alliance of universities is characterised by joint future-oriented key research areas, coordinated research
projects and cross-university collaboration in various research centres.
The President of Leibniz Universität Hannover, Professor Dr.-Ing. Erich Barke, assumed the Chair of the
NTH Board in 2013. According to NTH legislation, this position rotates between the member universities
every two years. The Board, NTH’s management body, consists of the three participating universities’ respective
president and two external board members.

For more information, visit

Planar Optronic Systems - Polymer-based sensor foils with purely optical measurement principles

What we offer

Optronics, a combination of optics and semiconductor technology, refers to products and processes in which signals can be converted optically and transmitted via the sensor principle. The goal of the interdisciplinary Collaborative Research Centre “Transregio 123 – Planar Optronic Systems” (PlanOS) is to develop polymer foils that are equipped with sensors throughout, eliminating the need for electronic components. All sensors function optically, and indicate changes in strain and temperature in properties
of light, for instance. Subprojects are carried out in which scientists search for suitable material systems for constructing optical waveguides, radiation sources, spectrometers and other detectors. They also develop concepts and simulations in order to create, transport and process light signals in sensory networks.

The focus is on optical parameter conversion, primarily using photons. Applications of these optronic systems range from temperature, pressure and strain measurements to the analysis of bio-chemical processes using spectroscopy. The light required to carry out the measurements can be generated via organic light emitting diodes (emitters) directly onto the polymer foil and received via organic solar cells (detectors).

The exhibit shows a temperature measurement system for the real-time surveillance of Li-Ion batteries. It demonstrates a potential application of polymeroptical sensor foils. Reliable sensors are based on fibre-Bragg gratings and AWG spectrometers for analysis. Temperature surveillance optimises charge/ discharge sequences, enabling much shorter charging times. A central challenge of PlanOS is to transfer knowledge to cost-effective, resourceefficient mass production, such as the manufacture
of waveguides and coupling structures by flexo-printing.
Other exhibits show high-precision tungsten carbide tools for the production of optical waveguides by hot embossing, as well as a grating structure as a coupling mechanism for single-mode waveguides.

Leibniz University Hannover leads PlanOS. Work groups from Hannover Centre for Optical Technologies (HOT), the Institute of Transport and Automation Technology (ITA), the Institute of Quantum Optics (IQO) and the Institute of Microproduction Technology (IMPT) are involved in developing the systems. The following institutes from NTH member universities are also represented in PlanOS: the Institute for High-Frequency Technology (IHF) at Technische
Universität Braunschweig and the Institute of Energy
Research and Physical Technologies (IEPT) at Clausthal University of Technology. In addition, PlanOS co-operates with the Laserzentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) as well as the Albert-Ludwigs-University of Freiburg (ALU).

What we are looking for

Research and industrial cooperations


  • Measurement Tools
    • Optical Technology
    • Sensor Technology
  • Ideas, proposals, partnerships for projects within research and intelligent energy programmes

Collaboration sought

  • Research & Development
  • Technical Co-operation


back to list