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Doctoral Student Wins Nano Innovation Award for Developing Microscope Capable of Spotting One Photon in a Million

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MUNICH, July 26, 2019 — Thomas Hümmer, a doctoral student at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitat (LMU) Munich and Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, has been awarded €6000 for developing a highly sensitive microscope that explores the optical properties of nano-objects. The Nano Innovation Award is given for best innovative doctoral thesis.

Hümmer's microscope uses two opposing mirrors whose light is reflected back and forth hundreds of thousands of times. If a nanoparticle is placed between the mirrors, its interaction with light will be strongly enhanced. This effect allows the detection of light absorption as weak as one photon in a million.

Because one of the mirrors is the size of a human hair, a scanning microscope can be built that enables highly sensitive imaging and spectroscopy of tiny structures, which could be useful for material research, nanotechnology, and the life sciences.

Hümmer has already developed a portable, fully functional prototype of the new microscope. He is currently working on commercializing his findings and has started a company named Qlibri.

The LMU Center for NanoScience awarded the Nano Innovation Award together with four spinoff companies from the Center for NanoScience (CeNS): attocube systems, ibidi, Nanion Technologies, and NanoTemper Technologies.

CeNS is a scientific institution of LMU Munich that promotes and coordinates interdisciplinary research in the field of nanoscience.


Photonics.com
Jul 2019
BusinessEuropeeducationpeopleawardsMicroscopyopticsmirrorsThomas HümmerNano Innovation Award

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