An entanglement-enhanced microscope

Nat Commun. 2013;4:2426. doi: 10.1038/ncomms3426.

Abstract

Among the applications of optical phase measurement, the differential interference contrast microscope is widely used for the evaluation of opaque materials or biological tissues. However, the signal-to-noise ratio for a given light intensity is limited by the standard quantum limit, which is critical for measurements where the probe light intensity is limited to avoid damaging the sample. The standard quantum limit can only be beaten by using N quantum correlated particles, with an improvement factor of √N. Here we report the demonstration of an entanglement-enhanced microscope, which is a confocal-type differential interference contrast microscope where an entangled photon pair (N=2) source is used for illumination. An image of a Q shape carved in relief on the glass surface is obtained with better visibility than with a classical light source. The signal-to-noise ratio is 1.35±0.12 times better than that limited by the standard quantum limit.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Microscopy / instrumentation*
  • Microscopy, Atomic Force
  • Microscopy, Confocal
  • Microscopy, Interference
  • Photons
  • Signal-To-Noise Ratio