Part of the Oxford Instruments Group

Quantum Imaging with Entangled Photons and EMCCD Cameras

Quantum imaging harnesses quantum properties of light and their interaction with the environment to go beyond the limits of classical imaging or to implement unique imaging modalities. In conventional quantum imaging systems, a non-classical state of light illuminates an object from which an image is formed on a set of photodetectors. In this respect, sources of entangled photon pairs are very prolific. Over the last decades, they have been used to achieve super-resolution [1] and sub-shot-noise imaging [2], as well as to develop new imaging approaches such as ghost imaging [3], quantum illumination [4] and quantum holography [5].

However, most of these experimental schemes require to measure intensity correlations between many spatial positions in parallel, a task that is much more delicate than forming an image by photon accumulation. Originally, this was performed using raster-scanning single-pixel single-photon detectors, but this process is very photon inefficient and time-consuming. In recent years, these systems were substituted by single-photon sensitive cameras, such as electron multiplied charge coupled devices (EMCCDs), to achieve faster quantum imaging with photon pairs and move this field closer to practical applications [6,7].

In this presentation, Dr Defienne will review photon-pair-based quantum imaging experiments that were developed and implemented with EMCCD cameras, including those manufactured by Andor. In particular, he will clarify what is the type of image information that is measured and exploited in these systems, and describe what are the drawbacks and advantages of EMCCD technology to achieve such a task. Finally, he will discuss the potential of other single-photon camera technologies for photon-pair-based quantum imaging, including single-photon avalanche diode cameras (SPAD) and EMCCD cameras from other companies (Nuvu), and compare them to the results obtained with the Andor models.


[1] Boto, Agedi N., et al. "Quantum interferometric optical lithography: exploiting entanglement to beat the diffraction limit." Physical Review Letters 85.13 (2000): 2733.

[2] Brida, Giorgio, Marco Genovese, and I. Ruo Berchera. "Experimental realization of sub-shot-noise quantum imaging." Nature Photonics 4.4 (2010): 227-230.

[3] Pittman, Todd B., et al. "Optical imaging by means of two-photon quantum entanglement." Physical Review A 52.5 (1995): R3429.

[4] Defienne, Hugo, et al. "Quantum image distillation." Science advances 5.10 (2019): eaax0307.

[5] Defienne, Hugo, et al. "Polarization entanglement-enabled quantum holography." Nature Physics (2021):1-7.

[6] Moreau, Paul-Antoine, et al. "Realization of the purely spatial Einstein-Podolsky-Rosen paradox in full-field images of spontaneous parametric down-conversion." Physical Review A 86.1 (2012): 010101.

[7] Edgar, Matthew P., et al. "Imaging high-dimensional spatial entanglement with a camera." Nature communications 3.1 (2012): 1-6.

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