Precise sensors at the atomic level
On April 1 2019, the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft launches the lighthouse project "Quantum Magnetometry" (QMag): Freiburg’s Fraunhofer Institutes IAF, IPM and IWM want to transfer quantum magentometry from the field of university research to industrial applications. In close cooperation with the Fraunhofer Institutes IMM, IISB and the Fraunhofer Centre for Applied Photonics CAP, the research team develops highly integrated imaging quantum magnetometers with highest spatial resolution and sensitivity.
The lighthouse project QMag enables the use of single electrons to detect smallest magnetic fields. This allows to use magnetometers in industry, for example for defect analysis of nanoelectronic circuits, for the detection of hidden material fissures or to realize especially compact magnetic resonance imaging scanners (MRI).
The QMag consortium has set itself the goal of bringing quantum magnetometry from laboratory to application and making it usable in industry. In order to do so, the Fraunhofer Institutes will develop two complementary magentometers which are able to measure smallest magnetic fields and currents with highest spatial resolution, respectively highest magnetic sensitivity, at room temperature. More specifically, the project partners aim to demonstrate and test two systems, which are based on the same physical measuring principle and method but which target different applications: On the one hand, a scanning probe magnetometer based on NV centers in diamond will allow highest precision measurements of nanoelectronic circuits. On the other hand, measuring systems based on highly sensitive optically pumped magnetometers (OPMs) for applications in material probing and process analysis will be realized.