Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences - Department of Physics

Quantum Futur Award 2019 for Aron Vanselow

He did his work in the group "Nonlinear Quantum Optics", led by Dr. Sven Ramelow, at the Department of Physics of Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, News from October 8, 2019

Aron Vanselow has been awarded the second prize of the Quantum Futur Award 2019 by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) for his master thesis on "Mid-infrared frequency-domain optical coherence tomography with undetected photons". Mr. Vanselow did his work in the group "Nonlinear Quantum Optics", led by Dr. Sven Ramelow, at the Department of Physics of Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin. Some results of this work were recently published in the journal Optics Letters and have already led to a patent.

It has long been anticipated that entangled photons hold the promise to drive a paradigm shift in imaging and sensing. Real-world implementations, however, have lagged behind their classical counterparts, because of low efficiency, loss and decoherence. Aron Vanselow’s thesis presents the first experimental demonstration of mid-infrared frequency-domain optical coherence tomography (OCT) with entangled photons. OCT is an important depth-imaging method in biomedical diagnostics as well as non-destructive testing allowing for 3D microscopy. OCT in the mid-IR range enables looking inside strongly scattering media, where commercial systems, which are all at shorter wavelengths do not work. The proof-of-principle setup developed by Aron Vanselow and his colleagues is powered by quantum entanglement generated in a patented new crystal. Importantly, the reached performances are already comparable to the best conventional techniques while exposing the sample to 8 orders of magnitude less optical power. At the same time the technological overhead is drastically reduced compared with classical techniques using only compact and cost-effective components. With the thesis demonstrating fast 2D and 3D imaging of highly scattering real-world samples (ceramics, paint layers) with 20 μm lateral and 10 μm depth resolution it has immediate relevance for applications in non-destructive testing such as quality control of coating thicknesses, cultural heritage conservation and microfluidics.

Contact: Dr. Sven Ramelow, Emmy Noether Group "Nonlinear Quantum Optics", Institut für Physik, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Newtonstraße 15, 14889 Berlin, Tel.: (0)30 2093 7799


Quantum Information & Measurement V, T5A.86,

Optics Letters 44, 4638 (2019),

German Patent DE102018206810.0 (May 20, 2019). S. Ramelow, A. Vanselow

More Information

News of BMBF