Fraunhofer IOF - Innovation driver since 1992

Areas of Competence

Depending on the task, we can offer the entire process chain or individual process steps for each of these areas - from design, to the manufacture of components, to assembly into opto-mechanical or opto-electronic systems, to holistic characterization.

Ranging from array projectors in the automotive sector to 3D real-time scanners in production and quantum technologies for tap-proof communication - the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Optics and Precision Engineering IOF develops innovative solutions with light for a wide spectrum of applications.

Commissioned by science and industry, we realize optical solutions that open up new fields of application for photonics. As part of the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft, our research is based on the passion to face important challenges and to break new ground.

To cover the entire photonic process chain, we use our comprehensive expertise in the areas of optical and mechanical system design, micro- and nanostructured optics, opto-mechatronic as well as precision optical components and systems, functional surfaces and coatings, laser and fiber technology, imaging and sensor technology, and emerging technologies such as optical quantum technologies.

Learn more about our motivation, our success stories, and how collaborations can be shaped: About us
Get to know our offers for (young) scientists and current job postings: Jobs and career at Fraunhofer IOF
If you have any questions or if you are interested in more details, please feel free to contact us. We are happy to help: Contact



New hub for quantum communication

A visit by Minister Wolfgang Tiefensee in Erfurt on August 31 marked the start of further expansion of the German quantum network.


Bonding without glue & flying without engine

In July, Carolin Rothhardt competed in the Women's World Gliding Championships. As a scientist, she researches joining technologies for space and quantum applications.


New QuNET Keyexperiment

Researchers from the QuNET initiative have successfully exchanged quantum keys between two points using a combination of free-beam and fiber links.


Photonics Days Jena 2023:
open for registration

From October 12 to 13, 2023 students and graduates are invited to join us at the Photonics Days 2023. Free registration until September 25.

Upcoming fairs


Fraunhofer IOF at IAA Mobility

From September 5 to 8, 2023 you can meet us at the "IAA Mobility 2023" at our booth D11 in hall B1. We look forward to seeing you!


Fraunhofer IOF at Space Tech Expo

The Fraunhofer IOF exhibits within the Fraunhofer Group "Fraunhofer AVIATION & SPACE" at the "Space Tech Expo 2023" at booth M22. Meet us from November 14 - 16!


Fraunhofer IOF at Compamed

From November 13-16, 2023 you can meet our scientists and their innovative research at "Compamed 2023". You will find us in hall 8a / G10.


More fairs and events

Of course, you can also meet our researchers at other trade fairs and events. Here you will find an overview of our events:

Upcoming Event highlights


Photonics Days Jena

From October 12 to 13, 2023, we again invite students and graduates to the Photonics Days Jena. Free registration is possible until September 25.

Selection of current research projects



The QuNET initiative develops highly secure communication systems based on state-of-the-art quantum technology.



A regional alliance of industry and research aims to build a quantum-inspired, omnifunctional fiber sensor platform to provide customized fully integrated sensor solutions for broad applications in diverse markets.



Freeform Optics Plus is a regional growth core working on the development and commercialization of innovative freeform optical systems for UV-VIS-IR applications.



Fraunhofer IOF is a partner in the AMI alliance, which develops multimodal imaging processes for industrial growth fields relevant in Thuringia. Here, image processing technologies from different spectral ranges and real-time 3D images are combined.


Max Planck School of Photonics

The Max Planck School of Photonics is an interdisciplinary graduate school. Coordinated by the Fraunhofer IOF, it offers an integrated PhD program in the field of photonics for international young researchers.


Center of Excellence in Photonics

The Leistungszentrum Photonik is a joint initiative of several research institutes in Jena. Together with partners from industry, they develop new solutions with light for important future fields.



The Cluster of Excellence Advanced Photon Sources CAPS under the leadership of the Fraunhofer ILT and the Fraunhofer IOF conducts research on laser sources and process technology for outputs up to 20 kW.


Fraunhofer Project Hub MEOS

At the Fraunhofer Project Hub MEOS in Erfurt, three Fraunhofer Institutes (Fraunhofer IPMS, Fraunhofer IZI, Fraunhofer IOF) are researching new biomedical applications together with partners from industry.

Fraunhofer IOF – Beutenberg Campus – City of Light Jena


Photonics –
Made in Jena

Fraunhofer IOF conducts applied research and develops innovative solutions with light on behalf of its customers from industry and research.


Women in photonics

We clearly advocate for more women in photonics and at our institute. We wish to tackle exciting photonic challenges with even more female colleagues in the future.


Thrice German Future Prizes

The Fraunhofer IOF received Germany's most important research award for the third time and was again recognized for its high innovative strength.


Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Optics and Precision Engineering IOF

Albert-Einstein-Str. 7
Beutenberg Campus
07745 Jena