Many of the most remarkable contributions of modern science to society have arisen from interdisciplinary work of scientists enabling novel imaging and sensing technologies (NMR, X-ray diffraction, electron microscopy). BioQ will revolutionize the state of the art to create novel sensing technologies for the broad field of life science research, providing unprecedented access and insight into the structure and function of individual bio-molecules under physiological conditions and applying these technologies to observe biological processes down to the quantum level and with atomic resolution. At this scale quantum properties are predicted to play an important role for the function of biological systems subject to environmental noise. BioQ will unravel the interplay of quantum coherent dynamics, molecular vibrations and environmental noise due to molecular vibrations in biological processes and design and carry out experimental tests of its predictions. BioQ will achieve new levels of understanding and control of biological systems, culminating in new ways to interface biological systems with quantum devices. To this end BioQ will exploit the ability of biological systems to arrange themselves into highly ordered structures to form hybrid materials of functionalized nano-diamonds that are capable of harnessing complex quantum dynamics at room temperature.
A deeper understanding of biological processes will open new roads towards drug design and bio-imaging. The elucidation of energy transport processes and dynamics may pave the way towards the design of more efficient light harvesting systems. Self-assembled hybrid bio-quantum devices provide a novel perspective towards quantum nanotechnology. The broad challenges that this ambitious programme present will be solved by an interdisciplinary team led by three PIs from experimental solid-state physics, theoretical quantum physics and bio-chemistry whose combination of expertise is essential for the success of BioQ.