Thin-Film Devices and Systems

Research Topics

Research into large-area and flexible electronics bases on our know how in materials and deposition techniques. The system integration includes connectivity and optimization of energy efficiency.

Our key applications are printed ion sensors for wearables and agricultural purpose as well as metal oxide TFT technologies for high frequency electronics and advanced display technologies.


TFTs and Circuits

Based on amorphous oxide semiconductors we develop TFTs and circuits for radio frequency and display applications. The focus is on added functionalities like transparency or flexibility.


Ion Selective Sensors

Our printed all-Solid State Electrodes for agricultural or wearable/medical application can replace more expensive and elaborate systems for the measurement of ion concentrations in aqueous solutions. Current examples inlcude the analyses of nitrate concentration in soil or ground water and the complex composition of electrolytes in sweat.


Thin-Film Technologies

Backed by our clean-room facility and dedicated labs we investigate into thin-film materials from precursor development until layer stack integration. Both classical vacuum as well as liquid-phase deposition techniques are addressed.


Physical Sensors

Thin-film sensors based on capacitive and resistive measurement principles are realized on various flexible and rigid substrates. The components are utilized to detect temperature, pressure, humidity and more complex values like fill levels of containers in single spots or sensing matrices.


Hybrid System Integration

The connection between thin-film / printed electronics and information processing hardware is realized by various mounting and wireless transmission techniques. Based on microcontroller technologies we realize funtional product samples for our thin-film technologies.

Brochures as PDF



  • Component, system and application specification (use cases)
  • Sensor / device layout
    • Based on simulation and experiment
  • Sensor processing and characterization
    • Thin-film materials qualification and development
    • Device parameters
    • Application test
  • Device and system integration
    • Hybrid: evaluation circuits
    • Integrated thin-film systems

PreeMO - Early detection of electrolyte disturbances in preterm infants through non-invasive real-time monitoring

Schematic illustration of the components of PreeMO

In premature infants, untreated electrolyte disturbances can lead to life-threatening conditions. As part of the PreeMO project, Fraunhofer IISB is developing sensors that enable real-time monitoring of electrolyte balance in a minimum-strain procedure for premature infants.

The five partners of the project PreeMO, funded by the BMBF, are researching non-invasive real-time monitoring of electrolyte balance using ion-selective diagnostics. The aim is to detect electrolyte imbalances in premature infants, which can have life-threatening consequences if left untreated. To check the electrolyte balance, the method currently used requires blood to be drawn two to three times a day. Electrolyte levels are then determined by blood gas analysis. This invasive procedure provides only momentary data and is painful for the infants due to the frequent blood sampling.

For pain-free electrolyte measurement, the research team at Fraunhofer IISB is developing ion-selective sensors for single ions (Na+) as well as for multiple ions (Na+K+Cl-). The sensors measure the electrolyte balance from the thin layer of sweat on the skin. The aim is to evaluate miniaturized multisensor arrays for the measurement of sodium, potassium and chloride that can be integrated into a child-friendly textile bandage. The bandage, as well as the creation of an adapted electronic system and the transfer to an industrial manufacturing environment, will be realized together with the PreeMO partners.