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Division 4

Division 4 which is responsible for optics is home to three base units: that of length, time and luminous intensity. On this basis, standards and measuring methods of highest accuracy are developed for various optical quantities.



Division "Optics" supports industry, science and society by providing measurement services, research and development in the field of optical technology. Based on the SI units of length, time and luminous intensity different units are realized and disseminated. Further more, accurate standards and measurement techniques are developed.

The division realizes the time scale UTC (PTB), which is the legal time in the Federal Republic of Germany, performs precision measurements in different fields of optics and cooperates in international standardisation and certification.

4 Abteilungsbericht aus dem Jahresbericht 2019

Präzisions-Ionenfalle des neuen optischen Yb+-Frequenznormals für eine relative Genauigkeit von besser als 10−18. Gold-beschichtete Elektroden reduzieren die Restbewegung des gespeicherten Ions während der Abfrage mit dem Uhrenlaser und Quarzglas-Isolatoren sorgen für eine bessere thermische Homogenität.

Der Initiates file downloadAbteilungsbericht gibt einen Überblick über die wichtigsten Nachrichten und Ereignisse der Abteilung „Optik“ des letzten Jahres und ergänzt somit den Opens internal link in current windowJahresbericht-2019 der PTB.


Planar plasmonic lenses have attracted a great deal of interest over the last few years for their super-resolution focusing capabilites. These highly compact structures with dimensions of only a few micrometres allow for the focusing of light to sub-wavelength-sized spots with focal lengths reaching into the far-field. This offers opportunities for new methods in nanometrology; for example, applications in microscopic Mueller matrix ellipsometry setups. However, the conventional plasmonic lens is challenging to fabricate. We developed a new design for plasmonic lenses, which is called the inverted plasmonic lens, to accommodate the lithographic fabrication process. We used numerical simulations based on the finite element method in combination with particle swarm optimization to determine ideal parameter ranges and tolerances for the design of inverted plasmonic lenses for different wavelengths in the visible and near-infrared domain...

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Photonic integrated circuits (PICs) are revolutionizing nanotechnology, with far-reaching applications in telecommunications, molecular sensing, and quantum information. PIC designs rely on mature nanofabrication processes and readily available and optimised photonic components (gratings, splitters, couplers). Hybrid plasmonic elements can enhance PIC functionality (e.g., wavelength-scale polarization rotation, nanoscale optical volumes, and enhanced nonlinearities), but most PIC-compatible designs use single plasmonic elements, with more complex circuits typically requiring ab initio designs. Here we demonstrate a modular approach to post-processes off-the-shelf silicon-on-insulator (SOI) waveguides into hybrid plasmonic integrated circuits. These consist of a plasmonic rotator and a nanofocusser, which generate the second harmonic frequency of the incoming light. We characterize each component’s performance on the SOI waveguide,...

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A round robin comparison of freeform form measurements was carried out by the project partners and stakeholders of a European metrology research project. Altogether six measuring instruments were considered: five different (pointwise and areal) optical devices and one tactile device. Three optical freeform surfaces were used for the comparison measurements, where two specimens were measured by five instruments and one specimen by four instruments. In this paper, the evaluation methods and results of this round robin are presented for the three freeform surfaces made from a temperature-stable material, Super Invar ®. The freeforms had diameters of 40 mm, 50 mm and 100 mm and best-fit radii of 39.75 mm (convex), 40.9 mm (convex) and 423.5 mm (concave). For comparison, the bilateral pointwise differences between the available measurements were calculated. The root-mean-square values of these differences ranged from 15 nm to 110 nm...

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