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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/S001573/1
Title: Infrared time-domain quantum optics (In-tempo)
Principal Investigator: Clerici, Professor M
Other Investigators:
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
Chromacity Ltd. Covesion Ltd QuantIC
Department: School of Engineering
Organisation: University of Glasgow
Scheme: EPSRC Fellowship - NHFP
Starts: 15 June 2018 Ends: 14 November 2021 Value (£): 624,572
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Related Grants:
Panel History:
Panel DatePanel NameOutcome
08 May 2018 EPSRC UKRI CL Innovation Fellowship Interview Panel 4 - 8 and 9 May 2018 Announced
Summary on Grant Application Form
Spectral analysis provides a vital technique to fingerprint the vast array of chemicals, materials and biological matter we encounter on a daily basis. It is central to detecting the presence of noxious gasses or explosives, of contaminants in food, and vitally the correct chemical structure of medicines.

This fellowship will deliver a new technology outperforming the state of the art infrared detection, based on recent developments in quantum mechanics.

Infrared spectroscopy is far from being a well-established technology, mostly due to the limited sensitivity standard detectors have in the infrared part of the spectrum. A limited sensitivity, in turn, corresponds to a limit in the minimum detectable amount of the chemical compound under scrutiny, hindering the deployment of infrared spectroscopy.

This fellowship will address such problem combining two recently developed techniques: time-domain spectroscopy and quantum metrology.

Time-domain spectroscopy is an approach developed in the last two decades and relies on measuring a signal that arises from the nonlinear interaction between ultrashort pulses and the infrared field under investigation. In contrast to standard infrared spectroscopy, the measured quantity is not at infrared wavelengths but in the visible region, where detectors have better performances. The detection is therefore not bound to the limited sensitivity of infrared sensors. This technique too is affected by a limit in the sensitivity, which arises from the quantised nature of the radiation in the ultrashort probing pulse and is known as the standard quantum limit.

In-tempo will transform infrared spectroscopy, harnessing quantum metrology to overcome the standard quantum limit faced by time-domain spectrometers.

Quantum optical metrology studies ways to improve the sensitivity of measurements using quantum states of light, instead of conventional fields. Squeezed and NOON states are the main players in this discipline. Squeezed states have a lower quantum noise on one of their properties, such as the amplitude, in exchange for a higher noise in a conjugate characteristic, such as the phase. NOON states are non-classical wave packets acquiring twice the phase of their classical counterparts when used in interferometers. Twin beams are electromagnetic fields featuring intensity correlations at the quantum level, i.e. more equal than any replica obtained by classical means.

This fellowship will use squeezed, NOON and twin beam states instead of classic ultrashort pulses in a time-domain spectroscopy approach. This way it will overcome the standard quantum limit in infrared spectroscopy.

The new family of infrared-time domain spectrometers generated by this fellowship will be benchmarked against state-of-the-art traditional spectrometers. Potential market impact and routes to commercialisation will be investigated with the support of the engaged industrial partners.

Key Findings
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Potential use in non-academic contexts
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Organisation Website: http://www.gla.ac.uk