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The Quantum Microscope

Objective

We propose to build an optical microscope that will use novel quantum optical concepts in order to break the Rayleigh-Abbe resolution limits of standard optical microscopy. Optical microscopy is still the workhorse of biological and medical research, allowing researchers direct visible view of the microscopic world, and any improvement in the field could have significant impact. Several innovative techniques have been demonstrated in recent years to achieve super resolution, most relate to fluorescence microscopy and requires highly nonlinear excitations and/or novel fluorescence probes, and therefore have more specific applications.
Our goal is to demonstrate a general-purpose machine, that is, a microscope that should be able to inspect general transparent or fluorescent objects, in particular biological and medical specimens, and will include several observation modalities. The high-resolution capabilities of the microscope will come from the application of novel photon-number resolving detectors and non-classical light sources. Our strategy is to build this microscope around a standard laser scanning microscope concept, yet we will achieve sub-diffraction imaging by resolving features within the classical diffraction limited spot of the scanning beam. Fast photon-number resolving detectors will record spatial and temporal distributions of photons at the image plane, enabling quantum correlations for enhanced resolution. We will consider several forms of illuminations both classical and quantum light and several microscope modalities, including fluorescence, dark field and differential interference contrast microscopy. We shall also investigate methods to combine quantum microscopy with nonlinear microscopy for further enhancement of resolution. Beyond its immediate goals, this research program will help to determine weather the more novel ideas of quantum metrology are indeed relevant for practical microscopy.

Field of science

  • /natural sciences/physical sciences/theoretical physics/particles/photons
  • /natural sciences/physical sciences/optics/laser physics

Call for proposal

ERC-2010-AdG_20100224
See other projects for this call

Funding Scheme

ERC-AG - ERC Advanced Grant

Host institution

WEIZMANN INSTITUTE OF SCIENCE
Address
Herzl Street 234
7610001 Rehovot
Israel
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
EU contribution
€ 2 112 146
Principal investigator
Itzhak Yaron Silberberg (Prof.)
Administrative Contact
Gabi Bernstein (Ms.)

Beneficiaries (1)

WEIZMANN INSTITUTE OF SCIENCE
Israel
EU contribution
€ 2 112 146
Address
Herzl Street 234
7610001 Rehovot
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Principal investigator
Itzhak Yaron Silberberg (Prof.)
Administrative Contact
Gabi Bernstein (Ms.)