University of Nottingham

Optical microscopes

Quantum diamond microscopes are super-sensitive and allow high resolution studies of cells and tissues

The microscopes harness the optical emission from defects in diamond.

Led by Professor Melissa Mather, we are developing these microscopes to study live cells and tissues.

Studying mitochondria

Mitochondria are responsible for generating the energy required for cells to function. When mitochondria dysfunction health problems can result including Parkinson's disease, heart conditions, cancer, and obesity. Existing techniques to study the link between mitochondria and disease are invasive and often toxic to cells.

sandSTORM images of nanodiamond - Melissa Mather

The quantum diamond microscopes are being developed to non-destructively study mitochondria, providing new information about how mitochondria work, leading to new and effective treatments for different diseases.


Integrated quantum and electron microscopy for imaging and sensing at the nanoscale

Alongside Professor Andrei Khlobystov , Professor Mather will pioneer a new form of microscopy. Quantum effects in diamond sensors linked up with experimental platforms of electron microscopy will enable correlation of nanoscale structure and chemical composition with magnetic and electronic states of matter, directly at the single-particle level. 

This new measurement tool will tackle characterisation challenges at the frontier of materials science, opening the door for rational design of complex materials and enable the targeted design of quantum, spintronic, magnetic, and electronic materials and devices. Time-resolved measurements will enable the study of chemical reactions at the single-molecule level, and discovery new ways of breaking and making chemical bonds, potentially leading to next generation materials for drug development.

New Horizons grant December 2020: Integrated quantum and electron microscopy for imaging and sensing at the nanoscale


 Key publications

Dynamic Quantum Sensing of Paramagnetic Species Using Nitrogen-Vacancy Centers in Diamond