Microsens project overview

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Detection and spectroscopy of weak microwave (>GHz) signals is of pivotal importance for key areas of modern technology, including wireless communication, radar, navigation and medical imaging. Solid state spins could be attractive sensors for both tasks since they have transition frequencies that can be tuned across the 1-100 GHz range. However high-frequency sensing by solid state spins has remained underexplored so far, and most demonstrations of spin sensing have focused on low-frequency (<10MHz) signals. The main reason is that well-established quantum sensing protocols suffer from a low efficiency in the high frequency domain. Furthermore, implementation of spin quantum sensors is not as mature compared to highly integrated microwave electronics.

MICROSENS project aims at using the well-known Nitrogen-Vacancy (NV) diamond colour centre as a tool to address these issues. We will build 2 different prototypes of microwave sensors based on the NV spin properties: a single microwave photon detector and a wideband quantum spectrum analyser. Theoretical aspects will also be jointly addressed by MICROSENS since understanding the ultimate limits of noise for high-frequency spin sensing will be one of the main objectives.
Led by an industrial partner (Thales), MICROSENS federates leading European groups of experimental materials science, solid-state spin sensing and cavity QED. MICROSENS thereby brings together all the necessary building blocks to achieve the ambitious target of producing MW detectors with outstanding performance.

This project has received funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation program

Single MW photon detector (WP1)
Wideband MW spectrum analyzer (WP2)
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Single MW photon detector (WP1)
Understand ultimate limits for high frequency sensing (WP3)
Material engineering (WP4)


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02/03/2021 Partners online meeting

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31/10/2019 Technical meeting in Montpellier


12/04/2019 Technical meeting in Leipzig

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30/10/2018 Technical meeting in Vienna

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01/06/2018 Kick-off meeting in Palaiseau