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Enhancing Super Resolution Imaging with Photonic Displacement Measurement

Recent research published in Physical Review Letters by researchers at the University of Portsmouth revealed a quantum sensing system that reaches the highest level of quantum sensitivity in measuring the transverse displacement between two interfering photons.

Enhancing Super Resolution Imaging with Photonic Displacement Measurement
Professor Vincenzo Tamma, Director of the Quantum Science and Technology Hub. Image Credit: University of Portsmouth

This novel method has the potential to improve super-resolution imaging methods, such as single-molecule localization microscopy with quantum dots, which currently use single-photon sources as probes for tracking and localizing biological material.

The diffraction limit of cameras and highly magnifying objectives, among other constraints of typical imaging methods, have historically made it difficult to achieve ultra-high precision in nanoscopic techniques. However, this novel quantum sensing approach overcomes these challenges and opens the door to previously unheard-of levels of precision.

The key to this breakthrough is an interferometric method that reaches previously unheard-of spatial precision and remains efficient even when displaced photonic wave packets overlap.

Using photons with different nonspatial degrees of freedom only slightly compromises this method's accuracy, representing a breakthrough in quantum-enhanced spatial sensitivity. 

These results shed new light on the metrological power of two-photon spatial interference and can pave the way to new high-precision sensing techniques; other potential applications for the research could be found in the development of quantum sensing techniques for high-precision refractometry and astrophysical bodies localization, as well as high-precision multi-parameter sensing schemes, including 3D quantum localization methods.

Vincenzo Tamma, Professor, Study Co-Author and Director, Quantum Science and Technology Hub

Journal Reference:‌

Triggiani, D., et al. (2024) Estimation with Ultimate Quantum Precision of the Transverse Displacement between Two Photons via Two-Photon Interference Sampling Measurements. Physical Review Letters.

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