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Cavity-enhanced optical microscope

Project description

Highly sensitive optical imaging of single nanoparticles

Nanoparticles and molecules escape direct visualisation with common light absorption or emission microscopes due to weak interaction with light. The EU-funded COM project developed a novel technology that enables the detection, spectroscopy and label-free imaging of individual nano-objects. This technology is based on the recent development of the cavity-enhanced light-matter coupling which increases the sensitivity of optical microscopy to the level of single nanoparticles and molecules. The project's technological platform is not limited to specific materials and operates with versatile light sources and detectors. COM's overall objective is the advancement of this highly sensitive optical microscope into a widely used analytic tool in the development of novel functional materials and devices.

Objective

Visualization of material objects is instrumental for our perception and understanding of nature. Nanoscale matter, however, escapes direct visualization by optical imaging due to weak interaction with light. Thus, studies of nanoparticles and molecules with common light absorption or emission microscopes are predominantly limited to macroscopic samples. Our recent developments of cavity-enhanced light-matter coupling provide means to boost the sensitivity of optical microscopy to the level of single nanoparticles and molecules. Our innovative technology enables detection, spectroscopy and label-free imaging of individual nano-objects that are instrumental for the development of novel functional materials and devices. In contrast to most alternative techniques of sensitive visualization, it operates with versatile and affordable light sources and detectors. Moreover, the technological platform is not limited to specific materials or sophisticated sample preconditioning and thus is applicable to fields as diverse as quantum physics and medicine. It capitalizes on the enhancement of light-matter coupling by an optical cavity to enable direct and quantitative optical absorption imaging of nanoscale matter. This ERC Proof of Concept project aims at leveraging the vast potential of our innovative technology towards its commercialization with the ultimate goal to create a consistent product concept and to advance our highly sensitive cavity-enhanced optical microscope into an affordable and widely spread enabling analytic tool.

Host institution

LUDWIG-MAXIMILIANS-UNIVERSITAET MUENCHEN
Net EU contribution
€ 149 875,00
Address
GESCHWISTER SCHOLL PLATZ 1
80539 MUNCHEN
Germany

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Region
Bayern Oberbayern München, Kreisfreie Stadt
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Links
Total cost
€ 149 875,00

Beneficiaries (1)