Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Quantum Technology for Advanced Imaging – QUILT

24.04.2018

Selected preparation, control and use of individual photons and quantum states for modern applications – in October 2017, six Fraunhofer Institutes launched a new lighthouse project: QUILT (Quantum Methods for Advanced Imaging Solutions). The scientists at the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT have begun to develop robust, marketable photon sources for imaging processes based on quantum technology. Conceivable areas of application can be found in medical or measuring technology, in which new areas of the electromagnetic spectrum can be tapped and the limits of imaging extended.

Silicon-based transistors, lasers and GPS are indispensable in today’s life. These are just a few of the many applications that emerged from a first generation of quantum technologies using collective particle phenomena in quantum physics. A “second quantum revolution” will open up new possibilities: quantum physical systems of single particles, e.g. photons, can now be manipulated for targeted and future use in various applications.


Parametric source for entangled photons.

© Fraunhofer ILT, Aachen, Germany / Volker Lannert

New, Economical Quantum Technologies

In the QUILT Lighthouse Project, six Fraunhofer Institutes are bundling their scientific expertise and technological know-how in the field of quantum imaging to transfer new findings from basic research into market-oriented applications. Prof. Andreas Tünnermann, director of the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Optics and Precision Engineering IOF, and Prof. Karsten Buse, director of the Fraunhofer Institute for Physical Measurement Techniques IPM, are coordinating the joint project, which is funded by the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft. The project kick-off was on March 1, 2018 in Berlin and the project will last three years.

“One goal of the Lighthouse Project is to evaluate quantum-technological concepts that are currently still in the early stages of development in view of their market and application potential and to develop rewarding approaches as to their technological maturity,” explains Dr. Bernd Jungbluth, group manager at Fraunhofer ILT. Each of the project partners will be investigating specific, largely untapped wavelength ranges and working closely with world-renowned groups from basic research, e.g. with the Institute of Quantum Optics and Quantum Information of the Austrian Academy of Sciences and the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Light.

New Imaging with Previously Unused Wavelengths

The scientists of Fraunhofer ILT are aiming for mid-infrared wavelengths (MIR) for use in future quantum imaging. In this area, which is also called the “fingerprint area”, many substances have characteristic absorption lines. However, suitable detectors are technically complex, expensive and limited by low sensitivity. Nevertheless, thanks to the phenomenon of entanglement, corresponding photons can be used for measurements in the fingerprint region.

For this purpose, a nonlinear optical crystal – a crystal with special physical properties – is excited with a laser. In this process, individual photons of the laser are converted in a parametric process into pairs of entangled photons, which can have different wavelengths. Entangled means that the two photons generated are considered to be a single quantum system and their properties are, therefore, highly correlated. When a property of one of the two partners is measured, properties of the second partner can immediately be known.

Manipulating Tailor-Made Photons

Fraunhofer ILT is currently developing a SPDC (spontaneous parametric down-conversion) source for generating entangled photons, built and characterized for later quantum imaging. The source will produce a signal wave that can be easily detected with silicon technology and a second wavelength in the MIR for interaction with the object to be measured. The characteristics of such a source result from the design in conjunction with suitable material, geometry and beam parameters. Decisive for applications is not necessarily high power or a large photon flux at a certain wavelength, but a high pair rate and a good correlation of the photons generated.

Fraunhofer ILT has already acquired a great deal of know-how on parametric processes and materials it has developed, such as Optical Parametric Oscillators (OPO). Since the materials are well-understood, they will be designed as very thin crystals for new quantum technologies so that only a few photons are lost through absorption in the material. Florian Elsen, project manager for QUILT at Fraunhofer ILT, explains: “Quantum imaging with low photon numbers could enable better signal-to-noise ratios compared to traditional measurement situations, or applications in which high intensities are detrimental”.

In addition to an understanding of parametric processes and tailor-made optics design, implementing the technology is crucial for marketing and utilizing quantum optical systems. Here, too, Fraunhofer ILT has a wealth of experience and robust technology platforms, for example from the development of satellite-based lasers and OPOs for climate research. In the field of quantum technologies, the institute will mainly focus on creating systems that are not only compact, but also robust. In QUILT, the scientists are therefore developing processes to better write optical waveguides with ultrashort laser pulses.

On this basis, integrated interferometers for imaging and spectroscopy in the fingerprint area are being implemented. “With parametric photon sources, integrated optics and packaging processes, we can develop a broad portfolio of solutions. In addition to imaging, these also include cross-sectional technologies for applications in quantum communication or quantum computing, for example”, says Dr. Arnold Gillner, head of the competence area “Ablation and Joining” at Fraunhofer ILT and sub-project manager in QUILT.

Perspectives of Quantum Photonics at the AKL'18

You can get further information on the potential of quantum photonics for applications at the “AKL'18 – International Laser Technology Congress” in Aachen: Current results will be presented by Prof. Ronald Hanson from QuTech, Dr. Robert Rölver of the Robert Bosch GmbH and Dr. Thierry Debuisschert of Thales Research & Technology on May 4, 2018 in the session “Laser Beam Sources”.

Project Partners of the Fraunhofer Lighthouse Project QUILT

- Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT
- Fraunhofer Institute for Microelectronic Circuits and Systems IMS
- Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Optics and Precision Engineering IOF
- Fraunhofer Institute for Optronics, System Technologies and Image Exploitation IOSB
- Fraunhofer Institute for Physical Measurement Techniques IPM
- Fraunhofer Institute for Industrial Mathematics ITWM

Contact

Florian Elsen M. Sc.
Group Nonlinear Optics and Tunable Lasers
Telephone +49 241 8906-224
florian.elsen@ilt.fraunhofer.de

Dr. Bernd Jungbluth
Group Manager Non-linear Optics and Tunable Lasers
Telephone +49 241 8906-414
bernd.jungbluth@ilt.fraunhofer.de

Dr. Arnold Gillner
Head of the Competence Area Ablation and Joining
Telephone +49 241 8906-148
arnold.gillner@ilt.fraunhofer.de

Weitere Informationen:

http://www.ilt.fraunhofer.de/en

Petra Nolis M.A. | Fraunhofer-Institut für Lasertechnik ILT

More articles from Information Technology:

nachricht New tools to minimize risks in shared, augmented-reality environments
21.08.2019 | University of Washington

nachricht Quantum computers to become portable
21.08.2019 | Universität Innsbruck

All articles from Information Technology >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Physicists create world's smallest engine

Theoretical physicists at Trinity College Dublin are among an international collaboration that has built the world's smallest engine - which, as a single calcium ion, is approximately ten billion times smaller than a car engine.

Work performed by Professor John Goold's QuSys group in Trinity's School of Physics describes the science behind this tiny motor.

Im Focus: Quantum computers to become portable

Together with the University of Innsbruck, the ETH Zurich and Interactive Fully Electrical Vehicles SRL, Infineon Austria is researching specific questions on the commercial use of quantum computers. With new innovations in design and manufacturing, the partners from universities and industry want to develop affordable components for quantum computers.

Ion traps have proven to be a very successful technology for the control and manipulation of quantum particles. Today, they form the heart of the first...

Im Focus: Towards an 'orrery' for quantum gauge theory

Experimental progress towards engineering quantized gauge fields coupled to ultracold matter promises a versatile platform to tackle problems ranging from condensed-matter to high-energy physics

The interaction between fields and matter is a recurring theme throughout physics. Classical cases such as the trajectories of one celestial body moving in the...

Im Focus: A miniature stretchable pump for the next generation of soft robots

Soft robots have a distinct advantage over their rigid forebears: they can adapt to complex environments, handle fragile objects and interact safely with humans. Made from silicone, rubber or other stretchable polymers, they are ideal for use in rehabilitation exoskeletons and robotic clothing. Soft bio-inspired robots could one day be deployed to explore remote or dangerous environments.

Most soft robots are actuated by rigid, noisy pumps that push fluids into the machines' moving parts. Because they are connected to these bulky pumps by tubes,...

Im Focus: Vehicle Emissions: New sensor technology to improve air quality in cities

Researchers at TU Graz are working together with European partners on new possibilities of measuring vehicle emissions.

Today, air pollution is one of the biggest challenges facing European cities. As part of the Horizon 2020 research project CARES (City Air Remote Emission...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

The power of thought – the key to success: CYBATHLON BCI Series 2019

16.08.2019 | Event News

4th Hybrid Materials and Structures 2020 28 - 29 April 2020, Karlsruhe, Germany

14.08.2019 | Event News

What will the digital city of the future look like? City Science Summit on 1st and 2nd October 2019 in Hamburg

12.08.2019 | Event News

 
Latest News

OHIO professor Hla develops robust molecular propeller for unidirectional rotations

22.08.2019 | Life Sciences

127-year-old physics problem solved

22.08.2019 | Physics and Astronomy

Physicists create world's smallest engine

22.08.2019 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>