The Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation has announced a $4 million grant over three and a half years to launch an international collaboration that will lay the groundwork for the development of a quantum electron microscope.
The grant will provide support for an effort spearheaded by Drs. Mark Kasevich at Stanford University, Peter Hommelhoff at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics in Germany, Fatih Yanik and Karl Berggren at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and Dr. Pieter Kruit at Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands to demonstrate interaction-free measurements with electrons — which, if successful, would form the basic principles for future development of an electron microscope with the potential to yield important discoveries in many areas of science.
Recent advances in the quantum-level control of electrons open the door to development of an electron microscope based on non-destructive quantum measurement principles. These instruments in turn may enable real-time non-destructive imaging of biological samples. A coordinated three-year program to develop the foundational ideas in support of the technology will involve each university team taking parallel but distinct technical and scientific approaches.
"The Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation's Science Program seeks to support high-impact scientific research, and we see this project as exactly that kind of opportunity," said Vicki Chandler, the foundation's chief program officer for science. "We expect that the work this team is doing will enable exciting new science through technology, and the scientists will acquire fundamental new knowledge in quantum mechanics and manipulation of electrons."