Unique quantum-enhanced sensors are being developed by a University of Oklahoma physicist, Alberto M. Marino that could possibly be used in a wide range of applications spanning from biomedical to chemical detection.
In association with the U.S. Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Marino’s team performed a new study, demonstrating the ability of quantum states of light to improve the sensitivities of advanced plasmonic sensors. The researchers present the first implementation of a sensor with supposed state-of-the-art sensitivities and demonstrate how quantum-enhanced sensing could potentially be used in real-life applications.
Quantum resources can enhance the sensitivity of a device beyond the classical shot noise limit and, as a result, revolutionize the field of metrology through the development of quantum-enhanced sensors. In particular, plasmonic sensors offer a unique opportunity to enhance real-life devices.
Alberto M. Marino, Professor in the Homer L. Dodge Department of Physics & Astronomy - OU College of Arts & Sciences
At present, plasmonic sensors are employed in several applications, for example, chemical detection, biosensing, ultrasound diagnostics, and atmospheric monitoring. Plasmonic sensors have been proven to function at the shot noise limit, and they can be probed by means of light. Therefore, the noise floor can be decreased below the typical shot noise limit when interfaced with quantum states of light that show reduced noise properties. As a result, a quantum-based enhancement of the sensitivity can be obtained.
For this study, Marino is teaming up with Ben Lawrie and Raphael Pooser in the Quantum Information Science Group at Oak Ridge National Laboratory of the U.S. Department of Energy. Plasmonic structures for this study were fabricated at the Center for Nanophase Materials Sciences, DOE Office of Science User Facility.
A research on this project titled, “Quantum-Enhanced Plasmonic Sensing,” has been reported in Optica, a scientific journal. The W.M. Keck Foundation has funded this research.