Quantera VMAG

Optically pumped magnetometers present an attractive technological alternative to cryogenic, superconducting magnetic field sensors. They make use of the unique sensitivity of, for example, alkali atoms to optical and magnetic fields and operate by generating atomic polarization with polarised light and measuring its precession around the magnetic field direction. In this project, we will develop magnetometers that are pumped with structured vector light and demonstrate the resulting temporal and spatial information enhancement. We will use state-of-the-art technology to structure vector light in its spatial and polarisation degrees of freedom, allowing us to imprint spatially varying optical polarisation onto atomic spin polarisation patterns. This project aims to explore and demonstrate the resulting extended functionality compared to conventional optically pumped atomic magnetometers, addressing the following challenges: the capability to measure 3D vector magnetic field direction in a single-axis geometry, to distinguish between bias and gradient magnetic fields, and to detect time-varying magnetic fields.

Our consortium comprises 5 academic partners, 2 national labs and a deep tech company with expertise in magnetometry, structured light, optical platforms and modelling. The project will strengthen competitiveness and leadership of Quantum technology in Europe, by translating scientific ideas into user-friendly devices with wide-ranging applications in the life, physical and geosciences, which will be tested in a full field environment against real time operational scientific geomagnetic sensors.