Experts of the Fraunhofer IST explain fundamentals and specialized questions, among other things from the field of thin film technology. 

  • Prototype design for Integrative Nanotech's hydrogen leak detection system.
    © Integrative Nanotech

    Integrative Nanotech, a dynamic spin-off from the renowned Fraunhofer Institute for Surface Engineering and Thin Films IST, has joined forces with its parent institution to revolutionize hydrogen leak detection. This strategic partnership will significantly accelerate the development of next-generation hydrogen leak detection systems and prove their production methods on industrial-scale production systems. In this interview, Dr. Hunter King talks about the path to the spin-off, the unique selling points of Integrative Nanotech and the collaboration with Fraunhofer IST.

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  • Irrigation field test of the SERPIC water treatment technology
    © Fraunhofer IST

    Efficient purification of effluent from wastewater treatment plants in order to enable its reuse in crop irrigation - This is the aim of the European research project “Sustainable Electrochemical Reduction of contaminants of emerging concern and Pathogens in WWTP effluent for Irrigation of Crops – SERPIC”. Graduate engineer Dr. Jan Gäbler from the Fraunhofer Institute for Surface Engineering and Thin Films IST tells us exactly what the project is all about and what makes the work so exciting.

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  • © Frauenhofer IST

    Sustainability management and life cycle assessments are gaining in importance on the road towards climate neutrality. In order to sensitize and qualify employees from widely differing areas such as purchasing and sales or (prospective) sustainability managers, the demand for suitable further-training formats is increasing. We spoke to Education Manager Doris Jandel about the new Fraunhofer IST certificate course on the topic of sustainability in companies, which starts on the 9th of April 2024.

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  • Net zero and carbon neutral concept. Net zero greenhouse gas emissions target. Climate neutral long term strategy. Hand put wooden cubes with decrease carbon emission icon and green icon.
    © Parradee,

    Sustainability, circular economy, energy and resource efficiency - catchwords that are currently on everybody’s lips. Companies are faced with the major challenge of meeting the growing demands of a sustainability strategy and thereby providing a contribution towards a climate-friendly and resource-conserving future. The topic of sustainability also plays a significant role at the Fraunhofer IST; the implementation of the UN Sustainable Development Goals is an integral part of many projects at the institute. With this in mind, the Fraunhofer IST is establishing the new “Sustainability Management and Life Cycle Engineering” department. In the following interview, Head of Department Prof. Dr. Stephan Krinke presents the goals, tasks and requirements.

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  • KI-Datenanalysesymbole zur Steigerung der Effizienz in der futuristischen Landwirtschaft, digitalisiertes umweltfreundliches und nachhaltiges Erntekonzept.
    © vxnaghiyev,

    In collaboration with Wirtschaftsregion Helmstedt GmbH and the Fraunhofer IKTS, the Fraunhofer IST has been working since 1st November 2023 on the establishment of an innovation center for knowledge and technology transfer in the Helmstedt coal-mining region. The aim is to instigate projects with a business-oriented research and development perspective and to then successfully implement them with regional partners from business, science and politics in collaboration with other Fraunhofer institutes. Dr. Guido Hora, Business Development Manager at the Fraunhofer IST, will be responsible for the internal Fraunhofer coordination and will initiate the establishment of a contact office. In this interview, he presents the goals, tasks and requirements of the project.

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  • A look behind the scenes...

    Interview  / October 15, 2023

    © Pixabay

    In today’s digitalized world, companies are becoming increasingly dependent on information and communication technologies, as a result of which they are exposed to both internal and external threats from hacker attacks. A functioning IT infrastructure and highly effective IT security measures are therefore an essential factor for corporate success. At the Fraunhofer campus in Braunschweig, this area is the responsibility of a 9-person team, which, in addition to operational-continuity management, performs other key tasks such as the development and implementation of security concepts for new institute locations. In the following interview, Andreas Schlechtweg, Head of the IT department, reveals to us the special challenges of working in a research institution and what fascinates him about it.

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  • Resource extraction on the Moon

    Interview  / June 24, 2022

    Resource-efficient processes  for ”Moon Village”.
    © Fraunhofer IST

    Living on the Moon? This may perhaps sound somewhat unrealistic today, but the urbanization of the Moon is one of the future topics in space travel. Limited resources on the Moon, the lack of fossil fuels, and extreme conditions such as very high and very low temperatures and a different day/night rhythm necessitate new ideas for energy supply and for the production of the required components and parts.

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  • Can glass reflect heat?

    Answers from Prof. Dr. Günter Bräuer / March 30, 2022

    An example of modern glass architecture - the Harpa concert center in Reykjavik
    © Günter Bräuer

    To come straight to the point: No, assuming it is not coated. Any body with a temperature above absolute zero (-273.15°C) emits electromagnetic radiation whose wavelength λ is linked to its absolute temperature T in Kelvin (K) through Wien's displacement law (named after its discoverer, Wilhelm Wien (1864 - 1928)). Evolution endowed us with eyes with which we are able to see a tiny section of the electromagnetic spectrum, namely wavelengths of between around 400 nm and 750 nm. Longer wavelength radiation is perceived by us as heat, whilst shorter wavelength radiation tans our skin and damages it if such radiation is enjoyed to excess. For thermal radiation, we must distinguish between the near (NIR, λ = 780 ... 3,000 nm), mid (MIR, λ = 3,000 ... 50,000 nm), and far (FIR, λ = 50,000 ... 1,000,000 nm) infrared.

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  • How do you actually make glass “invisible”?

    Answers from Prof. Dr. Günter Bräuer / July 07, 2020

    Window front of the Fraunhofer IST main entrance in Braunschweig.
    © Fraunhofer IST, Jan Benz

    Glass as a material is fascinating due to a number of outstanding properties. The most important of these is its high transparency across the entire visible spectrum, which enables a color-neutral view of the outside world. But let us also take a look at the less pleasant properties of glass. A pane of glass reflects around 8.3 % of the incident light and therefore works like a weak mirror (especially against a dark background). In everyday life, these reflections may not be particularly disturbing, but with high-quality optical components they are not tolerable.

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  • What is actually a ”quantum lap”?

    Answers from Prof. Dr. Günter Bräuer / December 16, 2019

    © Fraunhofer IST

    I have taken the seventieth birthday of the Fraunhofer Gesellschaft in 2019 as an opportunity to take a closer look at the quantum leap. After all, the famous Fraunhofer lines which are direct consequences of quantum leaps. Around 1814 our namesake Joseph von Fraunhofer discovered around 570 mysterious black lines in the emission spectrum of the sun. He catalogued them meticulously, but was unable to explain their origin; this would have indeed been impossible back then, without the modern physics of the 20th century. If, for example, sunlight is broken down into its spectral colors through a high-resolution optical grating, “the corresponding colors are missing at the positions of the Fraunhofer lines”.

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