Project ThermoQuant will develop innovative, high-performance sensors for nanoscale thermal sensing and imaging. The ultimate goal is a breakthrough in nanoscale thermal sensing and a thermal imaging technology with sensitivities in the K/Hz½-range and spatial resolutions down to 10 nm. For this, the consortium partners will explore solid-state electronic spins in diamond as nanoscale temperature sensors.
The accuracy targeted by the technology of the ThermoQuant consortium corresponds to a >10 times improvement in sensitivity and resolution compared to the best existing room temperature solution for nanoscale thermometry – Scanning Thermal Microscopy. This performance would enable a wide range of scientific applications, which are currently out of reach and which span from fundamental questions in condensed matter physics to the life-sciences and medical diagnostics. Furthermore, the targeted performance responds to pressing needs in the semiconductor and data-storage industries, where temperature management has been identified as one of the key challenges for further downscaling and the development of new architectures. The ThermoQuant project is thereby situated in the domain of novel sensors/detectors and addresses system integration into an existing, commercial quantum sensing solutions developed by one of the partners.
The key objectives of this proposal are thereby to lay the groundwork for the implementation of nanoscale thermal sensing and imaging using diamond-based quantum sensors. Through a combination of foundational experiments, theory and numerical modelling, the consortium will increase the technology readiness level of this innovative breakthrough technology, with the ultimate goal of commercialisation and scaled up production in the next years. For the latter part, the consortium has already established potential co-innovation connections to the Paul Scherrer Institute, a top-level Swiss Research Infrastructure, to ramp up fabrication and co-innovation in their industry-standard cleanroom.
The ThermoQuant consortium consists of two partners, the French CNRS Laboratory Charles Coulomb (CNRS) and the Swiss quantum sensing start-up company Qnami (QNAMI). The two bring strong synergies and complementary expertise, with CNRS being an expert in nanoscale quantum sensing and QNAMI the first spinoff company to bring quantum sensing technologies to the market.