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Oliver Ambacher Reappointed As Director Of Fraunhofer IAF

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Energy efficiency expert sees innovation opportunities in optoelectronics, sustainable electronic systems and applied quantum sensors

Oliver Ambacher has returned to Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Solid State Physics IAF in Freiburg, Germany, as professor for power electronics at the Department of Sustainable Systems Engineering at the University of Freiburg.

"I am looking forward to the renewed opportunity to help shape Fraunhofer IAF’s future research fields. I see great opportunities for the institute and its partners to translate research findings from the fields of energy-efficient optoelectronics, sustainable electronic systems and applied quantum sensors into innovations," says Ambacher, explaining the motivation for his future work.

In 2007, Ambacher was appointed as Fraunhofer IAF’s director for the first time. In his almost ten years of activity, the institute increased its annual research budget by 45 percent to €32 million and the number of employees by 55 percent to 280.

The institute‘s competencies were expanded along the value chain of the semiconductor industry, from materials and technologies through components and circuits to modules and systems. This significantly improved the transfer of research and development into industrial application.

In the future, Ambacher would like to promote the business units of the institute by establishing new research topics, such as quantum sensors and memristive electronics. "These developments can perfectly build on the strengths of Fraunhofer IAF in the fields of novel materials and nanotechnologies," explains Ambacher.

Expert in the field of energy-efficient electronics

Oliver Ambacher obtained his PhD in physics at the Technical University in Munich in 1993. In 1995, he concentrated his research activities on electronic and optoelectronic construction elements based on GaN. As a fellow of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, he was granted the opportunity to expand his work in the field of GaN transistors for high frequency power amplifiers at Cornell University, US, in 1998.

Following his habilitation, he was appointed professor for Nanotechnology in 2002 and elected as director of the Centre for Micro- and Nanotechnologies at the Technical University in Ilmenau in 2004. From 2007 to 2016, Oliver Ambacher headed the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Solid State Physics. In this function, he received the Karl Heinz Beckurts Award for the development of energy-efficient power amplifiers for mobile networks of the fifth generation in 2015.

This success was the motivation behind his change within the University of Freiburg from the professorship for Compound Semiconductors to the Chair of Power Electronics at the recently founded Department of Sustainable Systems Engineering.


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