The Ferdinand-Braun-Institut, Leibniz-Institut fuer Hoechstfrequenztechnik (FBH) researches electronic and optical components, modules and systems based on compound semiconductors. These devices are key enablers that address the needs of today’s society in fields like communications, energy, health, and mobility. Specifically, FBH develops light sources from the visible to the ultra-violet spectral range: high-power diode lasers with excellent beam quality, UV light sources and hybrid laser modules. Applications range from medical technology, high-precision metrology and sensors to optical communications in space. In the field of microwaves, FBH develops high-efficiency multi-functional power amplifiers and millimeter wave frontends targeting energy-efficient mobile communications, industrial sensing and imaging as well as car safety systems. In addition, compact atmospheric microwave plasma sources operating with economic low-voltage drivers and laser drivers are fabricated for use in a variety of applications.


Ferdinand-Braun-Institut, Leibniz-Institut für Höchstfrequenztechnik


The FBH is a competence center for III-V compound semiconductors and has a strong international reputation. FBH competence covers the full range of capabilities, from design through fabrication to device characterization.

In close cooperation with industry, its research results lead to cutting-edge products. The institute also successfully turns innovative product ideas into spin-off companies. Overall, working in strategic partnerships with industry, FBH ensures German technological excellence in microwave and optoelectronic research.

The Ferdinand-Braun-Institut develops high-value products and services for its partners in the research community and industry which are tailored precisely to fit individual needs. With its Prototype Engineering Lab, the institute additionally created an active interface between science and industry. By means of prototypes it turns excellent research results into market-oriented products, processes, and services. The institute thus offers its international customer base complete solutions and know-how as a one-stop agency – from design to ready-to-use modules and prototypes.



Interview with Sebastian Boppel, head of InP Devices Lab at FBH, providing InP MMIC technology to the project.

How is working in a high-tech institute like your institute?

In my research career I have always been fascinated by pushing the frontiers of high speed electronics. At FBH, I have the opportunity to develop InP MMIC technology for relatively large output powers at high frequencies. The institute offers the value chain in-house, from device modeling, circuit design, MMIC fabrication and high frequency device characterization to mounting and assembly. The MMIC process itself is a complex chain of processing steps; its development and execution require the collaboration of skilled scientists and technicians, a large variety of processing equipment as well as a standardized organization of processes. At the end of this long process chain, it is therefore always a pleasure to see the circuits being characterized and to supply the functional circuits within projects or to costumers.

What are the usual challenges that you face in your institute?

For InP MMIC technology, you face two major challenges. The first is to provide sufficient transistor count in one circuit, which is basically a question of yield. We are able to fabricate circuits with 30 transistors with sufficient yield and are currently pushing for higher transistor counts. The second challenge is to advance the transistors in the direction of higher frequencies and higher output powers. Currently, we provide circuits up to 300 GHz and are about to enter the terahertz range.

What do you think is the most interesting fact about ULTRAWAVE project?

The ULTRAWAVE project is an ideal match with our technology, since it requires components with relatively high output power and high linearity in the range from 100 GHz to 300 GHz. It is exciting to be part of a project which aims to open this frequency band for telecommunication providing high capacity backhaul over the air.


For more information on FBH, click here.