Optical Spectroscopy

Head: Univ. Prov. Dr. Max E. Lippitsch



The Group has been engaged in research in the field of modern optics and time-resolved spectroscopy for more than 20 years. The work extends from ultrafast spectroscopy of biomolecules to technological applications of luminescence decay time techniques. The first lifetime-based optical sensor ever published was developed in this group.

Research activities can be grouped in the following major categories:

(1) Basic research on

  • fluorescence decay time measurements on novel fluorescent materials
  • behavior of fluorescent molecules in membranes
  • basic investigations of mechanisms for ion sensing
  • novel sensing schemes (anisotropy, nonlinear optics)

(2) Sensor optics

  • capillary waveguides
  • inhomogeneous waveguide sensors
  • distributed sensors

(3) Development of sensor elements for

  • force / pressure
  • temperature
  • oxygen
  • CO2
  • pH
  • ions (phosphate, nitrate, sodium, potassium ....)

(4) Development of lifetime sensor instrumentation

  • low-cost devices for field measurements
  • autonomous monitoring systems
  • lifetime imaging devices

Advantages of Luminescence lifetime sensors:

Optical sensors based on luminescence lifetime are a promising alternative because of the following features:

  • proven long-term performance
  • maintenance-free
  • calibration-free
  • no analyte conssumption
  • negligible impact on the environment
  • low cost
  • no interference from electrical and magnetical fields

Possible applications:

  • marine and environmental monitoring: 

    To achieve a progress in operational forecasting of the seas and oceans, there is a strong need for a world-wide system of ocean-monitoring stations. None of the standard electrochemical sensors, however, fulfils the criteria for long-term autonomous monitoring. The properties of luminescence lifetime sensors provide the possibility for the use in unattended monitoring systems, floating buoys, unmanned platforms, and voluntary observing ships.

  • medical diagnostics:

    Medical diagnostics is facing a number of new challenges: Better medical sevices for increasing number of people, intensive care, homecare, emergency medicine. Optical sensors may provide a multitude of versatile diagnostic instruments that can be manufactures rather inexpensively and used conveniently.

Last update: 2014-08-11