Quantum-limited super-resolution imaging

Lead Research Organisation: University of Oxford
Department Name: Oxford Physics


Enhancing the resolution in imaging is crucial for many fields in science and technology but is always hampered by the diffraction
limit. Treating light fields as quantum systems, quantum information theory show that it is possible to fundamentally break the
diffraction limit by demultiplexing the optical field into different spatial modes. However, the way to approach the quantum limit for
full imaging remains unclear and it is challenging to realize quantum-limited super-resolution for truly microscopic objects. To tackle
this problem, the proposed research aims to: (1) identify the quantum resolution limit for full imaging; (2) develop a practical and
universal imaging method towards the quantum limit; (3) realize the prototype of quantum-limited far-field microscope. Through
comprehensive training on both research and transferable skills, this action will diversify the applicant's competences for academic
The research will integrate multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary approaches, combining (1) quantum tomography and statistical
analysis with Fisher information formalism, (2) spatial mode manipulation and detection of light, and (3) nano-optics/microscopy to
establish quantum estimation theory of full imaging, develop novel detection techniques, perform microscopic imaging and evaluate
its advantages over conventional imaging.
The 3 research objectives correspond to 3 progressive research work packages to ensure the success of the fellowship, together with
a variety of dissemination/exploitation plans to maximize the impact of the action. The proposed objectives, if successful, will result in
a revolutionary imaging technology with a potential to change the faces of all fields of science and technology that involve optical
imaging, ranging over astronomy, biology, medicine and nanotechnology, as well as optomechanical industry.


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