QuantERA Call 2023 - Applied Quantum Science (AQS) - QuantERA Call 2023 - Applied Quantum Science (AQS)

Quantum Multi-Modal Microscopy – QM3

Submission summary

This project uses quantum optical concepts and novel single-photon-resolving detector arrays to develop an industry-ready demonstrator. We will jointly develop different quantum and quantum-enabled imaging modalities (quantum super-resolution microscopy, photon-correlation-enhanced Raman microscopy, quantum-optical coherence tomography, scattering-mitigation microscopy) and combine them, together with the further developed single photons sensor devices, into a multimodal microscopy demonstrator. The project will initially leverage the sensors already developed by the EPFL partner (single-photon detecting matrices, integrated coincidence detection). Along the course of the project we will specify, fabricate and implement custom single-photon arrays with performances optimized for our application-ready quantum microscope.

This will realize significantly extended functionality in high-resolution optical microscopy:

- reduced background in imaging
- immunity to scattering in the sample
- simultaneously improved temporal and spatial resolution
- computational reconstruction algorithm matched to low-SNR, fast detection.

Thus the project will provide a breakthrough in the field of multi-modal microscopy, which we will demonstrate with first pilot applications in biomedical imaging.

Our project will have many-fold impact in various fields:
A. In quantum technology, we will cross the barrier often faced by quantum imaging techniques and go beyond the proof-of-concept stage and develop application-ready instruments. Based on this, in collaboration with our various collaborators from life-sciences, we will apply the quantum imaging technologies to solve practical problems in bio-imaging.
B. For the end-use, our microscope will make the advanced imaging techniques accessible to a wider range of users. We will demonstrate that adding a detection and/or excitation module to a commercial confocal microscope will substantially expand its capabilities. This is perhaps the widest impact we can achieve, as any biology institute nowadays has imaging platforms equipped with a confocal microscope, therefore implementing a QM3 add-on module is relatively straightforward.
C. From a computational and deep microscopy perspective, European researchers have been pioneering various computational microscopy methods for deep imaging and high-speed chemical microscopy for biological applications. We will continue ensuring a full compatibility of the methods with biological specimens, therefore fully aligned with end-users' needs, and highlighting unique solutions that the quantum realm can bring.

While we focused on bio-imaging here, there are many other industrial and/or research fields we will impact. For instance, often in agricultural and mineralogy there is a huge interest in using Raman scattering for characterisation, however the background is commonly a severe bottleneck. Therefore, the solutions proposed for bio-imaging can be transferred to these other less challenging fields, especially as the speed requirements are less stringent (no living matter).
All these above mentioned impacts will be put in a solid demonstration using the prototype microscope under the most challenging biological samples. Ultimately, these achievements could provide facile and low-cost imaging platforms for addressing clinical and biological questions. These breakthroughs are only possible due the unique synergistic cross-fertilisation of the partners’ backgrounds together with insights from quantum optics.

Project coordination

Radek Lapkiewicz (University of Warsaw)

The author of this summary is the project coordinator, who is responsible for the content of this summary. The ANR declines any responsibility as for its contents.


EPFL École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne
LKB Laboratoire Kastler Brossel
HUB Humboldt-University Berlin
MPL Max-Planck Institute for the Science of Light
UW University of Warsaw
PIT Pi Imaging Technology

Help of the ANR 1,713,349 euros
Beginning and duration of the scientific project: August 2024 - 36 Months

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