Optical Systems


Marcel Prochnau


Marcel Prochnau


+49 241 8906 8220



Modern optical systems are characterized by the close interaction of optical, mechanical and electronic components. Dynamic adaptation to changing environmental conditions, variable intensity distributions in laser applications, compensation of optical deviations as well as adaptation to processes are requirements that today’s optical systems are expected to meet. The research group Optical Systems investigates new assembly technologies for compact optical systems, manufacturing and assembly oriented design, simulation of thermal influences as well as the integration of actors and sensors to actively control optical systems. In addition, optical systems are designed to customer-specific demand for applications in laser material processing, process control and beam shaping.


Simulation and design

Model of a focusing system Copyright: © Fraunhofer ILT Model of a focusing system

Designing application-specific optical systems that meet the requirements of modern laser processes is one core capability of the Chair. Besides the design of systems for generating application-specific power density distributions, further key areas are modeling thermo-optical effects in highly loaded lens systems, and analyzing the propagation of ultrashort laser pulses.

  • Design of application-specific optical systems
  • Simulations based on geometrical optics and wave optics
  • Performance of sensitivity and tolerance analysis
  • Production- and assembly-oriented design
  • Analysis of thermal influences based on interfacing ray tracing and finite element methods (FEM)

Precision assembly

Device for automated optic assembly Copyright: © Fraunhofer ILT Device for automated optic assembly
  • Design of optical systems in planar technology
  • Glueing and soldering as joining technologies with accuracies in the sub-mrad range
  • Strategies for automated alignment and compensation
  • Modular optics assembly of prototypes with high centring accuracies

Active and controlled systems

Facet mirrors for variable beam shaping Copyright: © Fraunhofer ILT Facet mirrors for variable beam shaping

In order to realize innovative applications in laser material processing, the demand for flexible and dynamic optical systems increases and requires the integration of active and controlled components into optical systems. Besides an automated positioning of optical elements, for example flexible beam shaping elements with a high number of degrees of freedom offer diverse opportunities, which are investigated by the Chair. Our main activities in this field are:

  • Design of optics with variable (zoom) properties
  • Integration of actors and sensors into optical systems
  • Development of electro-optical modulators (Pockel's cell for miniaturized marking laser)
  • Real-time control using field-programmable gate array FPGA