April 16, 2019 / Stephan Hirschmann

Quantum Magnetometers for Industrial Applications

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 three further Fraunhofer institutes (IMM, IISB and CAP), the research team develops highly integrated imaging quantum magnetometers with highest spatial resolution and sensitivity. The consortium is completed by the academic expertise of Prof. Dr. Jörg Wrachtrup (University of Stuttgart) in the field of diamond-based quantum technology and by Prof. Dr. Svenja Knappe (University of Freiburg in cooperation with the University of Colorado Boulder) in the field of atom gas magnetometry.
[Picture: © Fraunhofer IAF]

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). »Our lighthouse projects set important strategic priorities to develop concrete technological solutions for Germany as an economic location. QMag paves the way for a Fraunhofer lighthouse in the field of quantum technology. The ambition of the excellent scientists who take part in the project is to significantly improve the technology and to define it internationally. In this way a long-term transfer of the revolutionary innovations of quantum magnetometry to industrial applications can be achieved«, explains Fraunhofer President Prof. Reimund Neugebauer.

The project QMag runs until 2024 and is founded with a total of € 10 million euros in equal parts by the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft and the federal state of Baden-Württemberg. The Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Solid State Physics IAF, the Fraunhofer Institute for Physical Measurement Techniques IPM and the Fraunhofer Institute for Mechanics of Materials IWM form the core team of the QMag consortium. »The combination of the project partners is an exceptionally unique feature of QMag. This makes Freiburg the leading research location for industrially used quantum sensors – not only in Baden-Württemberg, but throughout Germany«, says Dr. Nicole Hoffmeister-Kraut, Minister of Economic Affairs in Baden-Württemberg. Fraunhofer IAF is responsible for the overall coordination of the lighthouse project.

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