In the quest to decipher the chain of life from molecules to cells, the biophysical questions being asked increasingly demand techniques that are capable of identifying specific biomolecules in their native environment at the smallest possible scale, and measuring their interactions quantitatively without perturbing the system under observation.

MUSIQ will establish an intersectoral training and research programme at the physics/chemistry/life science interface with partners from 9 European countries, aimed at creating the next generation of skilled well-connected scientists that will pioneer the ‘quantum microscopes of tomorrow’.

The following scientific objectives highlight the research training goals of MUSIQ:

O1: Investigate nonlinear optical phenomena originating from the intrinsic response of natural biomolecules, to achieve label-free imaging and overcome artefacts from sample staining/fluorescence methods.

O2: Combine nonlinear (i.e. multiphoton) imaging with ultrafast two-dimensional spectroscopy to increase specificity and unravel quantum coherences in biomolecules.

O3: Achieve single molecule detection and super-resolution in coherent nonlinear imaging via a combination of approaches, including the enhancement of the light field in the vicinity of metallic (plasmonic) nanostructures.