Focus Area

Multimodal metrology at the atomic scale

Focus Area leaders: Ervin Bente & Jom Luiten

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We push the limits of measurement science and technology to enable ultimate precision in imaging and metrology

Our understanding and control of nature, from imaging of cells and viruses to manufacturing of nanoscale devices, increasingly relies on the ability to measure and image at the atomic scale. Besides traditional positional and structural information, metrology tools will need to provide functional information, often involving high temporal resolution and the combination of different measurement methods and frequency bands, including for example optical (ultraviolet/visible/near-infrared), electron-beam and acoustic imaging. Together with the demand for increased resolution and throughput, these requirements drive the development of metrology instrumentation towards the fundamental physical limits of measurement – the situation where the instrument and the object being measured become connected at a quantum level.

In this focus area we aim at developing fundamental understanding and novel technology to enable higher resolution and new imaging modalities in metrology instrumentation, and at applying advanced instrumentation to investigate materials and devices at the atomic scale. Specific goals include challenging the practical and fundamental limits of optical measurements of mechanical displacement, the development of photonic integrated circuits for massively-parallel metrology and for octave-bandwidth sensing, and the atomic-scale characterisation of quantum materials and devices by scanning-probe and electron-beam imaging – in particular combining cryogenic temperatures and high temporal resolution.

This research relies on TU/e strengths in photonic circuit technology, electron-beam imaging, X-ray source development, scanning-tunneling microscopy and optomechanical sensing, and the close links with major industries in the Brainport region.