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Nanoparticles in Quantum Experiments: Exploring the scientific basis of future innovative quantum technologies
Prof. Markus Arndt


University of Vienna, Faculty of Physics
Boltzmanngasse 5
48° 13' 17.8608" N, 16° 21' 22.6152" E
Running time: 
2013-01-01 - 2015-12-31

Quantum phenomena are an important basis for future information processing and information acquisition technologies. They will become particularly relevant for quantum-enhanced metrology and advanced sensors, which exploit the quantum superposition principle at a mesoscopic scale.

NANOQUESTFIT will prepare nanoparticles in highly non-classical quantum states and utilize them to test the linearity of quantum physics over mesoscopic distances and time scales in a mass range that has remained hitherto unexplored. This goal will be realized in an interdisciplinary effort of European experts in quantum optics, nanotechnology, chemistry, and cluster physics.

NANOQUESTFIT will realize novel quantum optical elements, such as optical depletion and phase gratings, atomically thin transmission gratings, as well as doped substrates in ultra-flat silicon. This will enable quantum coherence and interference studies with objects up to and beyond 10^5 atomic mass units for the first time.

For that purpose new beam methods will be explored for tailor-made nanoparticles between 10^4 and 10^7 atomic mass units. This includes the efficient volatilization and detection of chemically functionalized nanoparticles, of pure and doped nanodroplets, as well as of cold slow cluster ions.

Decoherence is the enemy of all future quantum-based technologies. The consortium will therefore investigate environmental decoherence with objects in a complexity class that is expected to become relevant in future quantum devices.

Advanced experiments in NANOQUESTFIT will allow defining new constraints on unconventional extensions of quantum theory, which will be explored and elaborated on with regard to their conceptional consistency. Since the linearity of the Schrodinger equation is the very basis for the majority of current quantum information concepts this has direct implications for QIPC.

NANOQUESTFIT works at the cutting edge of modern science to lay the scientific ground for a better understanding of practical and fundamental limits of future quantum technologies. It will also generate spin-offs for new quantum-enhanced sensing devices: in particular the beam splitter technologies developed in NANOQUESTFIT will be applicable to a wide range of matter waves composed of atoms, molecules and genuine nanoparticles.

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