Resolution of Quantum Imaging with Undetected Photons

Jorge Fuenzalida1,2, Armin Hochrainer1,2, Gabriela Barreto Lemos3,4, Evelyn A. Ortega1,2, Radek Lapkiewicz5, Mayukh Lahiri6, and Anton Zeilinger1,2

1Institute for Quantum Optics and Quantum Information, Austrian Academy of Sciences, Boltzmanngasse 3, Vienna A-1090, Austria
2Vienna Center for Quantum Science and Technology (VCQ), Faculty of Physics, Boltzmanngasse 5, University of Vienna, Vienna A-1090, Austria
3Instituto de Física, Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro, Av. Athos da Silveira Ramos 149, Rio de Janeiro, CP: 68528, Brazil
4Physics Department, University of Massachusetts Boston, 100 Morrissey Boulevard, Boston MA 02125, USA
5Institute of Experimental Physics, Faculty of Physics, University of Warsaw, Pasteura 5, Warsaw 02-093, Poland
6Department of Physics, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, Oklahoma, USA

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Abstract

Quantum imaging with undetected photons is a recently introduced technique that goes significantly beyond what was previously possible. In this technique, images are formed without detecting the light that interacted with the object that is imaged. Given this unique advantage over the existing imaging schemes, it is now of utmost importance to understand its resolution limits, in particular what governs the maximal achievable spatial resolution.
We show both theoretically and experimentally that the momentum correlation between the detected and undetected photons governs the spatial resolution — a stronger correlation results in a higher resolution. In our experiment, the momentum correlation plays the dominating role in determining the resolution compared to the effect of diffraction. We find that the resolution is determined by the wavelength of the undetected light rather than the wavelength of the detected light. Our results thus show that it is in principle possible to obtain resolution characterized by a wavelength much shorter than the detected wavelength.

Superposition and entanglement are some unique features of quantum physics. Based on these fascinating properties, new promising technologies are being developed in communications, computing, and sensing. In quantum imaging, a technique called ‘quantum imaging with undetected photons’ allows imaging an object without detecting the light that interacts with it. Therefore, this technique removes detection constraints for exotic wavelengths, enabling hyperspectral imaging and beyond possible. Although this technique was introduced in 2014, no thorough work has been done on its resolution. Here we present a comprehensive study on the resolution of quantum imaging with undetected photons.

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[2] Elkin A. Santos, Thomas Pertsch, Frank Setzpfandt, and Sina Saravi, "Subdiffraction Quantum Imaging with Undetected Photons", Physical Review Letters 128 17, 173601 (2022).

[3] Balakrishnan Viswanathan, Gabriela Barreto Lemos, and Mayukh Lahiri, "Position correlation enabled quantum imaging with undetected photons", Optics Letters 46 15, 3496 (2021).

[4] Balakrishnan Viswanathan, Gabriela Barreto Lemos, and Mayukh Lahiri, "Resolution limit in quantum imaging with undetected photons using position correlations", Optics Express 29 23, 38185 (2021).

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[6] Inna Kviatkovsky, Helen M. Chrzanowski, and Sven Ramelow, "Mid-infrared microscopy via position correlations of undetected photons", Optics Express 30 4, 5916 (2022).

[7] Felix Riexinger, Mirco Kutas, Björn Haase, Patricia Bickert, Daniel Molter, Michael Bortz, and Georg von Freymann, "General simulation method for spontaneous parametric down- and parametric up-conversion experiments", arXiv:2112.07243.

[8] Paul Kinsler, Martin W. McCall, Rupert F. Oulton, and Alex S. Clark, "The surprising persistence of time-dependent quantum entanglement", arXiv:2110.06835.

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