SPRIN-D Project

Accelerating multiple industries through super-resolution diamond-based quantum sensing


What we are doing

Diamond-based quantum sensing has the potential to disrupt multiple industries. Currently, industry practitioners have to compromise between high resolution and fast measurement speed. In this validation project, a demonstrator will be designed that enables a very high resolution while maintaining fast measurement speeds through a "Sprunginnovation". 

Potential solution

The Sprunginnovation envisaged by QuantumDiamonds

Industrial applications cannot be unlocked by incrementally improving the spatial resolution of the scanning tip approach or the imaging speed of wide-field imaging. The needed “Sprunginnovation” would bring together the “best of both worlds” through “super-resolution” quantum sensing.  Super-resolution quantum imaging would have faster measurement times in comparison with the scanning tip approach.

fast measurement times

The advantage of using a camera for data collection is enorm: parallelizing many measurements, one per pixel, leads to much faster data generation than by scanning each point individually.

high resolution

So far imaging approaches had a diffraction limited optical resolution. Through challenging diamond engineering,we were able to increase the resolution closer to the one of scanning experiments!

Why it matters

One of the major advantages of NV-based sensing is the ability to perform spatially resolved magnetometry measurements on unprecedented length scales. For this technology, there are two state-of-the-art methods which are relevant to industrial applications: Scanning tip and wide-field imaging. For the scanning tip method, an NV diamond tip is moved pixel by pixel over the sample. This technique enables a very high spatial resolution (25 - 50 nm) that few techniques can match. However, scanning is costly. A single diamond tip costs thousands of euros and would need to be replaced regularly. The application potential of the scanning tip approach is limited by its long measurement time, as it takes several hours to measure a single square millimeter. Wide-field imaging records the fluorescence of a diamond with a camera, simultaneously measuring and spatially correlating the signal recorded by each pixel. The approach meets the high speed required by many industrial applications. However, its spatial resolution is at best a tenth (350 - 500 nm) of the scanning tip method, limiting its applicability for most industrial use cases. 

BMWK - Agentur für Sprunginnovationen (SPRIND) startet ...


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