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Lab-in-a-molecule: Europe funds the first quantum platform designed to control the interaction between a photon, a single spin and a quantum of mechanical excitation all in a single molecule.
Costanza Toninelli, first researcher of the Cnr National Institute of Optics (CNR-INO), has received the prestigious ERC Consolidator Grant for the QUantum INTErfaceS with SinglE MoleCulEs (QUINTESSEnCE) project. The challenge is to exploit quantum effects in systems of increasing complexity such as molecules in the solid state, with the possibility of miniaturization and portability typical of integrated photonic devices.
QUINTESSEnCE takes up the challenge, combining the extreme flexibility of molecular chemistry, which allows the creation of molecules with customized energy states, with the most advanced nanophotonic techniques.
“Thanks to the creation of interfaces based on single molecules, we will study quantum effects in hitherto unexplored regimes and realize fundamental resources in the field of quantum technologies”, says Costanza Toninelli. “In the context of quantum communications, for example, we aim at the development of emitters for many photon experiments. But our studies could also stimulate a new generation of quantum temperature sensors, with unprecedented sensitivities under extreme conditions.”
At the head of a multidisciplinary group made up of researchers from the CNR-INO and the Ugo Schiff Department of Chemistry of the University of Florence, Costanza Toninelli, one of the emerging talents in European quantum photonics, protagonist in the main European networks such as QuantERA and Quantum Flagship, carries out her activity in collaboration with the European Laboratory LENS and the Department of Physics and Astronomy of the University of Florence.