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



discover science

For the "Forsche-Schüler-Tag" on April 27, "forsche" students from the eighth grade onwards will once again have the opportunity to discover science and research at first hand at the Fraunhofer IOF.


Full EUV power on laboratory scale

Jena researcher Robert Klas was awarded the Hugo Geiger Prize for the development of a compact high-power EUV source.


With ink and pen into the world of quanta

Jena scientist honored in BMBF caricature competition.


Making Europe fit for quantum communication via satellite

Project QUDICE aims to develop space-qualified hardware for quantum key exchange in space.

Event highlights


Workshop "Optical Fibers"

From May 8 to 11, 2023, Fraunhofer IOF will host the workshop "Optical Fibers: Theoretical Background and Hands-on".


Photonics Manager Compact

From June 12-16, Fraunhofer IOF's highly professional development education program for managers and executives in the photonics industry will take place.

Women in photonics

We have a lot of great women at the institute. They make groundbreaking inventions, lead innovative scientific teams, regulate the financial flows of the house and, as vice captain, keep the institute on course even when the waves are strong.

Hereby we highlight some of them to show how formative and enriching their work and dedication to photonics is. Because one thing is clear, if you want to get more female researchers excited about optics and physics, you need strong role models that future generations can look to for guidance.

And that's what they are:

Strong role models

Anne Gärtner

Anne Gärtner and her team developed a new optical coating system based on double nanostructures, preventing fogging and unwanted reflections. Their coating system has the potential to revolutionize optical systems in various fields, including lidar systems in autonomous cars.

Anne-Sophie Munser

Anne-Sophie Munser's research focuses on the use of scattered light to detect and analyze biological cells. In this context, a high-precision measuring device was developed, which could lead to faster treatments. Her method and measurement technology are already being used by project partners in the biological field.

Karina Jorke und Dr. Carolin Rothhardt

Karina Jorke and Carolin Rothhardt developed a beam splitter for space that separates light beams into four channels, enabling the examination of images collected by a telescope. Their technology could contribute to answering important questions about the universe.

Dear women,

you want to develop equally important methods and technologies around the field of light at one of the leading institutes for research in applied optics and photonics? Then apply with us!


Jobs / Career at Fraunhofer IOF


We also welcome unsolicited applications:

Unsolicited application for Fraunhofer IOF in Jena


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