Tackle a real-world challenge with quantum technologies in one of three relevant business areas: Medical Technology, Microscopy and Industrial Metrology.
Although quantum technologies continue to mature, they have not yet transitioned from the science lab to industrial applications – to say nothing of actual products. This situation has prompted ZEISS to start a competition devoted to utilizing quantum technologies in sensing and imaging applications for real-world problems.
The Quantum Challenge is closed for submissions, the winners have been chosen: Prof. Dr. Friedemann Reinhard, Professor of Quantum Technology at the University of Rostock, and Dr. Gabriel Puebla-Hellmann, CEO of QZabre AG in Zurich, impressed the expert judges with their ideas.
Prof. Dr. Friedemann Reinhard was honored for his idea regarding label-free 3D microscopy. The solution uses magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), instead of optical microscopy, to image small samples. It may sound far-fetched, but it could be doable by Nitrogen Vacancy (NV) centers (nitrogen defect centers in diamond). These have already shown that nuclear resonance signals from volumes of around 10 micrometers can be detected relatively quickly and easily. Using additional magnetic field gradients makes it possible to recreate an MRI scanner on a micrometer scale," says Reinhard. This could then be used to examine nontransparent specimens in 3D. "It would also enable label-free imaging, e.g. by imaging the chemical shift. And it could image movements or diffusion." It could be deployed in the life sciences. Another promising area would be battery research. Here, magnetic resonance spectroscopy is already being used on larger scales, and optical microscopy is not an option, since batteries are not transparent. Movements and diffusion are also of interest.
Dr. Gabriel Puebla-Hellmann was honored for his contribution to precise position and direction determination using quantum technology. At the heart of his solution are Nitrogen Vacancy (NV) centers – atom-sized, highly sensitive magnetic field sensors. "Because of their size, many NVs can exist in a small volume, creating a very sensitive magnetic field sensor on the sub-100 nanometer scale that determines both the value and direction of the field," says Puebla-Hellmann. " This sensor is special because it remains precise across more than six orders of magnitude, thus offering a much higher resolution for the same testing volume than other technologies."
Our approach is particularly relevant for industrial metrology. For example, when manufacturing high-precision components, the dimensions have to be verified post-production. Our approach helps to make this step more precise – and potentially faster, too.
Christoph Hauger is a physicist and director of Advanced Development of Carl Zeiss Meditec AG in Oberkochen. His research and professional interests are in the field of biomedical optics, digital visualization systems, AR&VR technologies, robotics and innovation and IP management.
Michael is a ZEISS Fellow, the head of the innovation management industrial at ZEISS corporate research and technology, and an honorary professor at the university of Konstanz.
As head of the ZEISS Innovation Hub at KIT, Max strives to identify new technologies, business ideas and talents, with a focus on - but not limited to - the Karlsruhe innovation ecosystem. Max holds a PhD in quantum optics and was deeply involved in setting up the EU Quantum Flagship program.
Martin is responsible for two innovation programs within the business unit Semiconductor Manufacturing Technology: Research SMT is looking for new product technologies and Strategic Innovation Program for new business ideas in semiconductor equipment market. Martin has 15 years of experience in managing innovation starting with ideas in the semiconductor business.