Quantum research in the city of light Jena

Jena is an outstanding technology location with a focus on photonic and optical technologies, which is not only renown in Thuringia and Germany, but has worldwide appeal. The challenges and in particular the opportunities of the so-called 2nd quantum revolutions were recognized in Jena at an early stage and internationally leading research groups were established in particular in the field of photonic quantum technologies. With the Center of Excellence in Photonics, the university and research organizations of Jena have joined forces to form a powerful alliance that has been able to successfully acquire a broad variety of multiple research projects in relevant quantum or quantum enabling technologies such as quantum computing, quantum communication and quantum imaging / sensing at regional, national and international level. On the one hand, this forms an excellent environment for ground-breaking scientific discoveries and innovations, but also offers broad connectivity for further or subsequent research projects and initiatives as well as for a low-threshold transfer to industry and society.


The Center of Excellence in Photonics

Who is part of the joint initiative?

The Center of Excellence in Photonics (CEP, German: "Leistungszentrum Photonik”) is a joint initiative of the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Optics and Precision Engineering IOF, the Friedrich Schiller University Jena, the Leibniz Institutes HKI and IPHT, and the Helmholtz Institute Jena.


What is their goal?

The CEP aims to sustainably strengthen the innovative power of Thuringia and in particular the location of Jena among others in the field of quantum technologies by aligning the research and development activities at the universities and research institutes of the city of Jena with the long-term and coherent strategies of the participating partners. The CEP develops new solutions with light for important future fields and promotes their implementation and application in science, industry, and society. To this end, the CEP combines fundamental research and application-oriented research with innovative development based on scientifically excellent research on the control of light - from generation and manipulation to application. The research and development activities at the CEP aim to create an internationally outstanding center of scientific excellence including all core competencies in quantum technologies.


The beneficial connection of Fraunhofer IOF and IAP

While the Fraunhofer IOF mainly focusses on application-oriented research and cooperation with industrial partners, the IAP (Institute of Applied Physics) mainly conducts basic research. Both institutes are headed by Prof. Andreas Tünnermann, who has been acting as managing director of both institutions for almost two decades now. This enables not only the alignment of long-term, coherent strategies, but also creates a seamless innovation chain from basic research to application-oriented development and possible implementation in relevant industrial use cases.


The right entanglement for quantum research

In the field of quantum technologies, three main application areas are being investigated at the Center of Excellence in Photonics in Jena:

  • Quantum communication
  • Quantum computing
  • Quantum imaging & sensing

In all these areas, optical technologies play an important role, either because photons are carriers of quantum information or because photons are used to study quantum systems when performing a specific task. Therefore, the development and advancement of optical quantum technologies is critical to realizing the potential inherent in quantum technologies. Learn more about the main research groups in the field of quantum technologies.

We embrace diversity

The Center of Excellence in Photonics (CEP) primarily serves the interests of the Free State of Thuringia and the Federal Republic of Germany. Therefore, a central goal is to achieve diversity among its students, researchers, and employees. We have a strong interest in ensuring that access to the CEP is open to talented students, researchers, and employees from all social groups and backgrounds. This openness to qualified students from all groups thus serves all parts of society equally and contributes to the preservation of the social fabric not only in the Free State but also in the Federal Republic of Germany and moreover in Europe.

Therefore, CEP explicitly welcomes diversity and recognizes its responsibility to provide an open, welcoming environment in which students, faculty, and staff of all backgrounds can learn, work, and serve together. We especially value the social, community, and academic benefits that come from a diverse environment and are actively committed to equity, inclusion, and accountability. On the one hand, diversity is an essential component to achieving excellence. On the other hand, diversity broadens and deepens both the educational experience and the academic environment. It helps students, researchers, and faculty learn to interact effectively with one another and helps prepare them to participate in an increasingly complex and pluralistic society. Educational excellence, provided it is truly inclusive of diversity, fosters mutual respect and enables full and effective use of talents and skills from everyone. This not only helps foster innovation, but also equips future leaders with additional essential leadership skills. Therefore, CEP specifically highlights its commitment to recognizing and promoting talent, achievement, and merit by actively supporting diversity and equal opportunity in education, services, and administration, as well as in all research and creative activities.

We will continually strive to work together to address the challenges of the future in ways that remove barriers to success and promote a culture of compassion, inclusion, and mutual respect. The skills acquired through diverse experiences in academic and research environments help to prepare all students, staff, researchers, and faculty to succeed personally and professionally in an increasingly challenging global society.

Selection of current research projects in Jena


The QuNET initiative develops highly secure communication systems based on state-of-the-art quantum technology.

Read more (in german)


A regional alliance of industry and research aims to build a quantum-inspired, omnifunctional fiber sensor platform to provide customized fully integrated sensor solutions for broad applications in diverse markets.

Read more (in german)

NanoScope Futur

NanoScopeFutur-2D is a BMBF funded research group, under the NanoMatFutur programme. It focusses on optical properties of novel two-dimensional materials for applications in health, the environment, and quantum technologies.

Read more (in german)

Don't miss our other quantum research projects


Quantum research projects in Jena

Do you want to join a quantum research project in Jena? Then please contact us. We are looking for reinforcement.