Research ArticleOPTICS

Terahertz quantum sensing

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Science Advances  13 Mar 2020:
Vol. 6, no. 11, eaaz8065
DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.aaz8065


Quantum sensing is highly attractive for accessing spectral regions in which the detection of photons is technically challenging: Sample information is gained in the spectral region of interest and transferred via biphoton correlations into another spectral range, for which highly sensitive detectors are available. This is especially beneficial for terahertz radiation, where no semiconductor detectors are available and coherent detection schemes or cryogenically cooled bolometers have to be used. Here, we report on the first demonstration of quantum sensing in the terahertz frequency range in which the terahertz photons interact with a sample in free space and information about the sample thickness is obtained by the detection of visible photons. As a first demonstration, we show layer thickness measurements with terahertz photons based on biphoton interference. As nondestructive layer thickness measurements are of high industrial relevance, our experiments might be seen as a first step toward industrial quantum sensing applications.

This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial license, which permits use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, so long as the resultant use is not for commercial advantage and provided the original work is properly cited.

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