Radiation

  • »SolACES« – Farewell after nine years on the ISS

    The SOLAR research mission successfully supplied measurement data on the solar spectrum for a period of nine years – with the help of Fraunhofer IPM’s »SolACES« EUV spectrometer. ESA – European Space Agency

    SolACES, the solar spectrometer developed by Fraunhofer IPM and installed on the ISS, supplied unique measurement data on solar activity for nine years. As the SOLAR research mission has come to an end, the successful experiment was ceremoniously deactivated on 15 February 2017 at the B.USOC control centre in Brussels. The SolACES solar spectrometer flew to the International Space Station in February 2008 as part of the SOLAR research mission. Its planned lifetime was one and a half years. Yet SolACES reliably supplied data on the sun’s extreme ultraviolet (EUV) spectrum for nine years. Together with other measurement data, the SolACES data today forms the basis for modern climate models.

  • Affordable detectors for gamma radiation

    single crystals made of lead halide perovskites Empa

    A research team at Empa and ETH Zurich has developed single crystals made of lead halide perovskites, which are able to gage radioactive radiation with high precision. Initial experiments have shown that these crystals, which can be manufactured from aqueous solutions or low-priced solvents, work just as well as conventional cadmium telluride semi-conductors, which are considerably more complicated to produce. The discovery could slash the price of many radio-detectors – such as in scanners in the security sector, portable dosimeters in power stations and measuring devices in medical diagnostics.

  • Bug-proof communication with entangled photons

    Fraunhofer IOF‘s quantum source. Designed to be fully operational even after extreme stress. Fraunhofer IOF

    Due to the rapidly growing processing power of computers, conventional encryption of data is becoming increasingly insecure. One solution is coding with entangled photons. Fraunhofer researchers are developing a quantum coding source that allows the transport of entangled photons from satellites, thereby making an important step in the direction of tap-proof communication. In addition to the quantum source, researchers from various Fraunhofer institutes will be presenting other exciting optoelectronic exhibits at the LASER World of Photonics trade fair in Munich from June 26 - 29, 2017 (Hall A2, Booth 431 and Hall B3, Booth 327).

  • Cold plasma: Get started with the Disc Jet

    The Disc Jet can also be used to process cavities.

    Plasmas are often found in the center of stars – on Earth, the electrically charged gas mixtures are a rare occurrence, such as in lightning discharges or aurora borealis lights. However, you can provide some help with high heat or high electrical voltages. Fraunhofer researchers have produced cold plasmas and used them for the surface treatment of temperature-sensitive materials. In doing so, recesses or undercuts were no longer a problem, thanks to a new technology – the Disc Jet can reach everywhere.

  • Control 2017: Fraunhofer HHI presents digital 3D endoscopy and Terahertz sensing

    Endoscope room.

    Fraunhofer Heinrich Hertz Institute HHI presents new processes for digital 3D measuring technology and for the inspection below the surface as well as in the material inward at Control in Stuttgart, Germany, at booth 6302 in hall 6.

    Innovations for the digital society of the future are the focus of research and development work at the Fraunhofer Institute for Telecommunications, Heinrich Hertz Institute, HHI. In this area, Fraunhofer HHI is a world leader in the development for mobile and optical communication networks and systems as well as processing and coding of video signals.

  • DFG Funding: An Atom Trap for Water Dating

    Atom trap wherein 39Ar atoms are captured and detected. Florian Freundt, Institute of Environmental Physics, Heidelberg University

    A Heidelberg physics project funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG) will focus on a new type of dating method for use in the earth and environmental sciences. The research team will deploy a special radioactive isotope of the noble gas argon (Ar) for the purpose of water dating. This isotope is useful for determining age in the range of 50 to 1,000 years. Prof. Dr Markus Oberthaler of the Kirchhoff Institute for Physics and Prof. Dr Werner Aeschbach of the Institute of Environmental Physics of Heidelberg University will direct the three-year project.

  • Diamond Lenses Make Laser Optics Significantly Lighter

    Diamond optics are characterized by significantly greater heat conductivity and a higher refractive index while also having outstanding mechanical properties. © Fraunhofer ILT, Aachen / Volker Lannert.

    Diamonds are not only a girl's best friend, but synthetic diamonds are also attractive as a material for laser optics: thanks to their extremely high refractive index and excellent heat conduction, laser optics made with them are ten times lighter than conventional laser optics. Fiber lasers in the kW range could, thus, operate with greater flexibility. Three Fraunhofer institutes have optimized the production and processing of diamonds in recent years, and the first cutting system with diamond lenses is being tested.

  • Fraunhofer IFAM expands its R&D work on Coatings for protection against corrosion and marine growth

    Outdoor weathering test stand at Westmole, Helgoland. © Fraunhofer IFAM

    Preventing corrosion and its consequences is a key issue in most industries because the cost of corrosion in Germany alone amounts to billions of euros. In addition, the marine growth on surfaces is a huge challenge for shipping, offshore wind turbines, and underwater steel structures. Fraunhofer IFAM has many years of experience developing effective corrosion protection systems and antifouling strategies. In order to further enhance the institute’s expertise in this area, outdoor weathering test stands have been acquired to augment existing test facilities and key personnel with the requisite know-how have been added to the maritime technologies team.

  • Heart examinations: Miniature particle accelerator saves on contrast agents

    Prof. Franz Pfeiffer and PD Dr. Daniela Münzel at the miniature synchrotron Munich Compact Light Source (MuCLS). Heddergott / TUM

    The most prevalent method for obtaining images of clogged coronary vessels is coronary angiography. For some patients, however, the contrast agents used in this process can cause health problems. A team at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) has now demonstrated that the required quantity of these substances can be significantly reduced if monoenergetic X-rays from a miniature particle accelerator are used.

    Soft tissues such as organs and blood vessels are nearly impossible to examine in X-ray images. To detect a narrowing or other changes in coronary blood vessels, patients are therefore usually injected with an iodinated contrast agent.

  • Hepatitis C and HIV prophylaxis: microwave reduces viral transmission in the drugs scene

    PD Dr. Eike Steinmann und Anindya Siddharta. TWINCORE/Romy Weller

    Infections with hepatitis C virus (HCV) and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) among people who inject drugs (PWID) are a global health problem. For example, sharing of drug preparation equipment within this population contributes to more than 80% of newly acquired HCV infections. As a response to these circumstances, scientists at TWINCORE validated a simple and safe method to reduce the risk of viral transmission, namely by microwave irradiation. This method has been published recently in Scientific Reports.

  • Holographic analysis of Wi-Fi data generates 3D images of the vicinity

    A cross made of aluminum foil between the viewer and the WLAN-router can easily be reconstructed from the WLAN-hologram as can be seen in the inserted picture. Image: Friedemann Reinhard/Philipp Holl / TUM

    Scientists at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have developed a holographic imaging process that depicts the radiation of a Wi-Fi transmitter to generate three-dimensional images of the surrounding environment. Industrial facility operators could use this to track objects as they move through the production hall. Just like peering through a window, holograms project a seemingly three-dimensional image. While optical holograms require elaborate laser technology, generating holograms with the microwave radiation of a Wi-Fi transmitter requires merely one fixed and one movable antenna, as Dr. Friedenmann Reinhard and Philipp Holl report in the current issue of the renowned scientific journal Physical Review Letters.

  • Individualized fiber components for the world market

    From the Science and Technology Park Hannover (WTH) to the world market: The FiberBridge Photonics GmbH manufactures fiber components and modules for laser and light guiding systems. FiberBridge Photonics GmbH

    On June 14th, 2017, Dr.-Ing. Thomas Theeg, scientist at the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH), founded the 18th spin-off company of the research institute. Specialized in custom glass fiber components, fiber modules and manufacturing systems for these components, the FiberBridge Photonics GmbH will be providing customers from research, production, telecommunications and medical technology with individualized products.

    Already in March 2016, the business idea had been awarded at the StartUp-Impuls ideas competition of the Sparkasse Hannover and the hannoverimpuls GmbH in the “Going Global” category. Furthermore, in November 2016, scientists of the LZH received funding through the EXIST research transfer program of the German Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs and Energy.

  • MPI and MIT researchers prove fast microbial evolutionary bursts exist

    Bacterial horizontal gene transfer.

    Remember all those different species of Galapagos finches? They stem from an evolutionary burst, through a process called adaptive radiation. Now a study published in Nature reveals that microbes can do the same.

  • New functional principle to generate the „third harmonic“

    Experimental optic for the generation of the „Third Harmonic“ in layer systems. (Photo: LZH)

    From the fundamentals to a concrete product: In a new, international research consortium, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) is investigating an innovative approach to the generation of the “third harmonic”. Up to now, much time and effort is necessary to generate coherent radiation in the ultraviolet spectral range. Current investigations should show whether this can be achieved with a conversion efficiency of at least 15 % in the future by means of dielectric layer systems. Subsequently, the research team will be considering the scalability and market potential of this new process, too.

  • Radon Increases Risk for Malignant Skin Cancer

    Histopathologic image of malignant melanoma (Case 01). Skin biopsy. H & E stain.

    A new study by the Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute (Swiss TPH) about residential radon exposure in Switzerland shows that the radioactive gas radon increases the risk for developing malignant skin cancer.

    It is undisputed that radon is a risk factor for developing lung cancer. New research by the Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute (Swiss TPH) in the context of the Swiss National Cohort study now shows that the naturally occurring radioactive gas radon within one’s home also increases the risk to develop malignant skin cancer (malignant melanoma).

  • Scientists develop molecular thermometer for contactless measurement using infrared light

    The molecular ruby in a solid (red) and dissolved (yellow) state can be used for contactless measurement of temperature. photo/©: Sven Otto, JGU

    Temperature measurements possible even on the smallest scale / Molecular ruby for use in material sciences, biology, and medicine.

    Chemists at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) in cooperation with researchers of the German Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM) in Berlin have developed a molecular thermometer. The gemstone ruby served as the source of inspiration. However, the thermometer developed by the team headed by Professor Katja Heinze at the JGU Institute of Inorganic Chemistry and Analytical Chemistry is a water-soluble molecule, not an insoluble solid.

  • Stem cell transplants: activating signal paths may protect from graft-versus-host disease

    Cross-section of mouse intestines: OLFM4-stem cells (red) are crucial for epithel regeneration. During treatment leading up to allo-hematopoietic stem cell transplantation, they are often destroyed.  Poeck / TUM

    Stem cell transplants can save lives, for example in patients with leukemia. However, these treatments are not free of risks. One complication that may occur is graft-versus-host disease (GVHD), basically donor-derived immune cells attacking the recipient’s body. A team at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) has identified molecular mechanisms that may protect patients against this dangerous response in the future. The key to preventing GVHD is in the gut.

  • The GERDA Experiment ready to discover rarest radioactive decay

    View from bottom into the GERDA experiment: The fiber shroud of the liquid argon veto and the copper head for mounting the germanium strings. V. Wagner/GERDA collaboration

    Why is there more matter than antimatter in the universe? The reason might be hidden in the neutrino nature: one of the preferred theoretical models assumes, that these elementary particles were identical with their own anti-particles. This in turn would lead to an extremely rare nuclear decay process, the neutrinoless double-beta decay (0νββ). The experiment GERDA now has reached a most important improvement in the search for 0νββ decay by reducing the disturbances (background) to an unprecedented low level making it the first “background-free” experiment in the field. This achievement is reported in the recent NATURE article appearing April 6th, 2017.

  • The Lightest Electromagnetic Shielding Material in the World

    A sample of the electromagnetic shielding material made by Empa – a composite of cellulose nanofibres and silver nanowires. Empa

    Empa researchers have succeeded in applying aerogels to microelectronics: Aerogels based on cellulose nanofibers can effectively shield electromagnetic radiation over a wide frequency range – and they are unrivalled in terms of weight. 
    Electric motors and electronic devices generate electromagnetic fields that sometimes have to be shielded in order not to affect neighboring electronic components or the transmission of signals. High-frequency electromagnetic fields can only be shielded with conductive shells that are closed on all sides. Often thin metal sheets or metallized foils are used for this purpose. However, for many applications such a shield is too heavy or too poorly adaptable to the given geometry. The ideal solution would be a light, flexible and durable material with extremely high shielding effectiveness.

  • The nanostructured cloak of invisibility

    Substrate with 450 nm nanopillars (left) compared to an unstructured reference (right). The top set of images were taken at an observation angle of 0°, the bottom set of images at 30°. © Zhaolu Diao

    Most lenses, objectives, eyeglass lenses, and lasers come with an anti-reflective coating. Unfortunately, this coating works optimally only within a narrow wavelength range. Scientists at the Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems in Stuttgart have now introduced an alternative technology. Instead of coating a surface, they manipulate the surface itself. By comparison with conventional procedures, this provides the desired anti-reflective effect across a wider wavelength range. But more than this, it largely increases the light transmittance through surfaces.