Quantum Sensing

Quantum mechanics ultimately limits measurement precision. Exploiting the quantum properties of entanglement and coherence, local quantities such as mass, current and charge can be measured with a sensitivity much improved over classical schemes of sensing. The field of quantum metrology has demonstrated this capability with the unprecedented demonstration of atomic clock precision and stability. At IQST there is a focus on developing new concepts of quantum sensing never before realized, which could provide groundbreaking measurement techniques for biology, chemistry, and material science. For example at IQST researchers are investigating the possibility for using nano-diamonds, with implanted color centers, to achieve enhanced MRI with a resolution on protein-length scales. The underlying challenge to realizing the improved sensitivity of quantum sensors in real-world applications, is to protect the quantum system from the noisy environment. Therefore, there are also many fundamental studies of how to improve the sensitivity of a quantum sensor in an open quantum system, e.g. by implementing quantum error correction to improve quantum coherence times.

Research topics (groups)

  • Studies of the fundamental limits of sensing utilizing quantum properties of the system. (Ankerhold, Calarco, Huelga, Jelezko, Montangero, Plenio, Wrachtrup)
  • Development of prototypes of quantum sensors (Jelezko, Plenio, Wrachtrup)
  • Improvement of the coherence times of NV centers in diamonds (Jelezko, Plenio, Wrachtrup)