The science of light (or photons)



OUR GOAL is to create a leading ecosystem in the photonics industry within the heart of Switzerland, focusing on the following competences:

  • Light, Laser & Photon Sources
  • Detection & Imaging
  • Manufacturing & Prototyping
  • Systems & Software

These main focus areas at Park Innovaare include the following technological areas:

  • Smart Sensors & Electronics
  • High-Tech Design
  • Advanced Manufacturing
  • Quality Control Tools
  • Data & Computing
Sparking Innovation


A research core competence at the Paul Scherrer Institute PSI is photonics. The institute’s large-scale research facilities, including the Swiss Light Source (SLS), one of the most advanced light sources, as well its Swiss Free Electron Laser (SwissFEL) and additional laser technologies, place it at the forefront of development in photon science applications and solutions.

The following laboratories are affiliated to PSI's Photon Science Division (PSD):

When locating at Switzerland Innovation Park Innovaare, high-tech companies working in the field of photon sciences will occupy the same building as PSI’s Photon Science and Accelerator Divisions and will have the opportunity to access the laboratories operated by PSI, including state-of-the-art clean rooms and prototyping facilities. The aim of such proximity is to facilitate the exchange of ideas and optimise the cross-fertilisation of technological solutions.

Photon Science Division PSI


The detector groups at PSI continue to push the boundaries of what is possible, creating some of the world’s leading detector technologies, including the development of novel sensor materials as well as the design of chips, electronic interfaces and associated data capture hardware.

E.g. systems designed by the X-ray detector group permit data acquisition from single photon events up to data flows of Terabytes per second. Some of these developments have formed the backbone technologies of the well-known PSI spin-off Dectris AG.

PSI X-ray detector group


Combined with its leading expertise in imaging techniques, PSI’s areas of research extend into micro and nano fabrication, with particular emphasis on the application of light or the development of components and surfaces that interact with photons.

Areas in which PSI is offering world-class solutions and prototyping capabilities include, but are not limited to:

  • Accelerators
  • Lasers and interferometers
  • EUV, electron and laser lithography
  • Microlens fabrication and nano 3D structure generation for photon manipulation
  • Micro- and nano-machining processes by deposition, etching, imprint
Manufacturing & Prototyping at PSI


In order to operate such machinery and ground-breaking devices, scientists at PSI are in regular need of innovative systems and novel software.

In response to this need, a competence center was established at PSI for the control and monitoring, data acquisition, development and maintenance of hardware, firmware, and software systems required for the operation of the electron and proton accelerator facilities.

Teams of technicians, electrical engineers, software engineers and physicists design, develop and operate a variety of highly specialized hardware and software sub-systems, define new file and data formats, as well as information processing routines and algorithms in close collaboration with the experts of the different accelerator technology groups, operation teams, beam physicists and beamline scientists. These developments are well reflected in LeadXPro, a company founded at PSI in 2015.

Software & Systems at PSI