Description of the Institution

The Ferdinand-Braun-Institut, Leibniz-Institut fuer Hoechstfrequenztechnik (FBH) is part of the Forschungsverbund Berlin e.V., a member of the Leibniz Association. In 2017, it had a staff of 290 employees and a budget of 33 million Euros.

The institute researches electronic  and  optical  components,  modules  and  systems  based  on  compound  semiconductors. Within its photonics research area, FBH covers a broad range of diode laser and LED developments that are tailored precisely to fit individual requirements. Specifically, FBH develops light sources from the visible to the ultra-violet spectral range: high-power diode lasers with excellent beam quality, UV light sources, and hybrid laser modules. Applications range from medical technology, high-precision metrology and sensors to optical communications in space. In the field of microwaves, FBH develops high-efficiency multi-functional power amplifiers and millimeter wave frontends targeting energy-efficient mobile communications as well as car safety systems. In addition, the institute fabricates laser drivers and compact atmospheric microwave plasma sources operating with economic low-voltage drivers for use in a variety of applications.

The FBH is a competence center for III-V compound semiconductors and has a strong international reputation. FBH competence covers the full range of capabilities, from design to fabrication to device characterization. In close cooperation with industry, its research results lead to cutting-edge products. The institute also successfully turns innovative product ideas into spin-off companies, such as JENOPTIK Diode Lab GmbH, eagleyard Photonics GmbH, UVphotonics NT GmbH, and Brilliance Fab Berlin GmbH & Co. KG (BFB). The FBH continuously works with more than 50 industrial companies in the frame of research and development assignments as well as R&D services. Maintaining long-term strategic partnerships with corporations including Bosch, Infineon, JENOPTIK, TESAT Spacecom, and Trumpf, FBH assures technological excellence in microwave and optoelectronic research. The institute is an essential part in the value chain of many national and regional companies and thus promotes their market success. The FBH develops high-value products and services for its partners in the research community and industry which are tailored precisely to fit individual needs.


Description of Main Tasks and Participant’s Profile

The main task of the FBH within the research consortium is the fabrication of optical chips by means of lithographic techniques. This task ideally matches FBH’s profile as established manufacturer of advanced optical chips for applications ranging from fundamental science to commercial applications. High-quality surface waveguides and on-chip resonators for the optical interfacing of quantum emitters shall be realized in SiO2 on silicon. Application-specific layout arrangements provided by partners of the consortium have to be realized on wafer level. Process steps for fabrication of the optical chips are developed and optimized. Semiconductor processing technologies including optical lithography, silicon oxide and silicon nitride plasma deposition, thermal annealing as well as wet and plasma etching are used for chip fabrication. An electron beam writer is used for in-house writing of reticles for photolithography and for direct exposure of ultra-high resolution patterns. A test set-up for basic characterization of the chips is about to be accomplished in FBH’s Laser Metrology lab allowing steep learning curves in the optimization of the fabrication process.

Leading Researchers 

  • Dr. Olaf Krüger

    PhotoCredit: ErBeStA / Sebastian Pucher
  • Dr. Andreas Thies

    PhotoCredit: ErBeStA / Sebastian Pucher