INSTITUTE OF APPLIED PHYSICS - InQuoSens - Thuringian Innovation Center

InQuoSens - Thuringian Innovation Center for Quantum Optics and Sensing

ACP hosts InQuoSens, a Thuringian Innovation Center for Quantum Optics and Sensing which is unique in in Germany. InQuoSens is creating new solutions for sensor technology, semiconductor lithography, microscopic measuring methods and imaging techniques which will be made usable for the Thuringian industry.

Logo_EU_web150InQuoSens brings together excellent and internationally visible research activities of ACP, the Institute for Micro- and Nanotechnologies at the Technical University of Ilmenau (IMN) and the Fraunhofer IOF Institute of Optics and Precision Engineering Jena in the key technologies quantum optics and sensor technology. By means of strategic investments measures and a joint strategy process at both locations, these fields are synergistically developed. InQuoSens coordinates its scientific development with the innovative needs of the Thuringian metrology and communication industry. For example, InQuoSens is currently working on the question of how quantum technologies can be used in autonomous driving or medical diagnostics. Through these activities, InquoSens is developing into an internationally independent center of scientific excellence with a critical mass of competences, which will increase the innovative power of the Thuringian economy.

InQuoSens is supported by the Thuringian State (FKZ 2017 IZN0012) and the European Regional Development Fund (EFRE) with EUR 3.0 million in 2017-2022.



Embedded research groups

FOQUOS - Thuringian Research Group for imaging with entangled photons (started in 2018)

InQuoSens_FOQUOS_web350The aim of FOQUOS is the fundamental investigation of imaging modalities based on the peculiar properties of entangled photons. As a result, application perspectives for quantum imaging schemes and a roadmap for further development will be established. Research is pursued along two complementary lines reflecting the strengths of the project partners in Jena and Ilmenau. First, quantum imaging schemes and the necessary photon sources will be fundamentally examined to identify conceptually new modalities, with a particular focus on making use of photon pairs with different wavelengths. Second, concepts to realize electronic components suited to implement and integrate the needed photon detection and analysis schemes will be developed. The detection of both photons should be done in real time if possible. For this purpose, ceramic-based circuit boards (LTCC) are being implemented at the IMN MacroNano® to meet these requirements. The advantage is in the realization of very short connection paths of the individual components, which enables a fast signal processing. The combination with thin-film glasses is studied to increase the degree of integration and to verify the implementation of optical components. The results of both research lines will be used to realize first demonstrators of quantum imaging schemes.

2D-SENS - Thuringian Research Group for ultrasensitive energy-efficient gas sensors from 2D materials (started in 2019)

InQuoSens_2DSENS_web3502D-materials are ideal for nanoscale and quantum sensing applications. Consisting almost completely of surface, they interact strongly with many aspects of the environment. Their strong light-matter interaction also allows for the remote readout of their status with comparable ease. Of interest are materials of the semi-conductiong group of 2D Transition Metal Dichalcogenides (TMDs) like like molybdenum disulfide (MoS2) or tungsten disulphide (WS2). Within the 2D-SENS group, we aim to use the properties specifically for gas sensors and will develop four different types based on the TMDs. These integrated 2D-materials will be used to investigate fundamental aspects of how the environment influences the light-matter-interaction in 2D-materials, regarding fluorescence lifetimes, spectra and valley-excitonic properties.

InQuoSens Prototyping Infrastructure

ACP_InQuoSens_NanoLab_web350The preparation of micro- and nanostructured optical devices for the integration into quantum optical systems and for the quantum optical characterization requires an elaborate technological processing. Within InQuoSens, nanostructured functionalized surfaces up to atomic membrane systems are considered as particularly promising fields of technology for the realization of efficient quantum optical devices. Therefore, prototyping technologies for these material systems are highly relevant and existing coating and structuring technologies shall be supplemented by missing technology steps.

InQuoSens Device Characterization Infrastructure

Imaging quantum detectors: Quantum imaging technologies are an essential part of the InQuoSens technology roadmap. The Thuringian industry has traditionally a strong focus on imaging optical systems. These systems shall be advanced to single-photon sensitive methods and suitable quantum-optical evaluation protocols, e.g. ghost imaging techniques, shall be developed.

Quantum-optical characterization setup for the MIR spectral region: Due to the characteristic molecular-specific optical properties of substances in the mid-infrared spectral region (MIR), sensor systems and imaging techniques in this spectral region have a high potential for research and development especially in the material and life sciences. Up to now, this potential cannot be fully exploited as technological challenges regarding spectroscopic characterization systems in this spectral region and hyperspectral imaging methods have not yet been solved completely. This holds true especially for spectroscopy and imaging on the single-photon level using quantum-mechanical correlations. InQuoSens is dedicated to this problem and will investigate quantum optical sensor and imaging systems in this spectral range.

Components for a correlated ohoton source in the UV spectral region: The spatial resolution of imaging sensors is bounded by the Abbe limit and is directly related to the wavelength of the detected photons. For this reason, there have been long standing efforts to scale existing imaging methods to shorter wavelengths. Great progress has been made due to the improved availability of laser sources in the ultraviolet (UV) and extreme ultraviolet (XUV) spectral region. Yet, it has been shown that, in particular, the application of these imaging methods in the life sciences is severely hindered by the intense light-matter interaction of the high-energy photons. Even the smallest photon doses cause significant damage to biological samples. Therefore, detection methods that work with very low photon fluxes are of utmost importance, which will be addressed within InQuoSens by the development of quantum-optical sensor technologies and imaging methods in the mentioned spectral regions.

InQuoSens staff


Prof. Dr. Andreas TÜNNERMANN

Institute of Applied Physics, Jena
Phone: +49 3641-9-47800

Prof. Dr. Jens MÜLLER

Institute for Micro- and Nanotechnologies, Ilmenau
Phone: +49 3677-69-2606


Chief Executive Officer
Junior Group Leader Quantum Optics
Phone:  +49 3641-9-47569


Innovation Officer, Ilmenau
Phone:  +49 3677-69-3402

Dr. Andrea KNAUER

Technology Officer, Ilmenau
Phone:  +49 3677-69-3404

Christian KROPPKA

Laboratory Technician, Ilmenau
Phone:  +49 3677-69-3325


Technology Officer, Jena
Phone:  +49 3641-9-47564