Photonics Industry

Our goal is to create a leading ecosystem in the Photonics industry in the heart of Switzerland, focusing on the following competencies:

Light, Laser & Photon Sources
Detection & Imaging
Manufacturing & Prototyping
Systems & Software
These focal points in the Innovaare park include the following technological areas:

Smart sensors and electronics
High-tech design
Advanced manufacturing
Quality control tools
Data & computer technology

Sparking Innovation

Photon research at PSI

A core competence of research at the Paul Scherrer Institute PSI is photonics. With its large-scale research facilities, including the Swiss Light Source (SLS), one of the most advanced light sources, as well as the Swiss Free Electron Laser (SwissFEL) and other laser technologies, the institute is a leader in the development of applications and solutions in the field of photonics.

The following laboratories are affiliated with PSI's Photon Science Department (PSD):

  • Laboratory for Macromolecules and Bio-Imaging.
  • Laboratory for Micro- and Nanotechnology (LMN) 
  • Laboratory for Condensed Matter (LSC)
  • Laboratory for Synchrotron Radiation and Femtochemistry (LSF)
  • Laboratory for Advanced Photonics (LAP)
  • Laboratory for Nonlinear Optics (LNO)

High-tech companies involved in photonics research will be housed in the Switzerland Innovation Park Innovaare in the same building as PSI's Photon Science and Accelerator departments and will have access to PSI-operated laboratories, including state-of-the-art clean rooms and prototyping facilities. The goal of this proximity is to facilitate the exchange of ideas and optimize the cross-fertilization of technological solutions.

Photon Science Division PSI

Photonics at FHNW

The University of Applied Sciences Northwestern Switzerland FHNW facilitates collaborations such as feasibility studies and product development - from prototype to market launch.

Areas in which the FHNW offers practical manufacturing solutions include:

  • Customized sensors
  • Sophisticated measurement systems
  • Signal processing
  • Laser micromachining
  • 3D measurement techniques
  • PSI and FHNW are partners in the field of micro and nano manufacturing.





Strategische Partner Park Innovaare

Detection and imaging

The detector groups at PSI continue to push the envelope and develop some of the world's leading detector technologies, including the development of novel sensor materials and the design of chips, electronic interfaces and associated data acquisition hardware.

For example, systems developed by the X-ray Detector Group enable data acquisition from single photon events to data streams of terabytes per second. Some of these developments formed the basic technologies of the well-known PSI spin-off Dectris AG.

PSI X-ray detector group

Manufacturing & Prototyping

Combined with its leading expertise in imaging technology, PSI's research areas extend into micro- and nanofabrication, with a focus on the application of light or the development of components and surfaces that interact with photons.

Areas in which PSI offers world-class solutions and prototyping capabilities include.

Lasers and interferometers
EUV, electron and laser lithography
Fabrication of microlenses and generation of 3D nanostructures for photon manipulation
Micro- and nano-machining processes using deposition, etching, imprinting

Manufacturing & Prototyping at PSI

Systems & Software

In order to operate such machinery and ground-breaking devices, scientists at PSI are in regular need of innovative systems and novel software.

In response to this need, a competence center was established at PSI for the control and monitoring, data acquisition, development and maintenance of hardware, firmware, and software systems required for the operation of the electron and proton accelerator facilities.

Teams of technicians, electrical engineers, software engineers and physicists design, develop and operate a variety of highly specialized hardware and software sub-systems, define new file and data formats, as well as information processing routines and algorithms in close collaboration with the experts of the different accelerator technology groups, operation teams, beam physicists and beamline scientists. These developments are well reflected in LeadXpro, a company founded at PSI in 2015.

Software & Systems at PSI