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Q-SORT - A new Era in Electron Microscopy

Kick-off Meeting
Modena (IT) - October 2-3, 2017


Sala Ex-Oratorio, Palazzo dei Musei

Viale Vittorio Veneto, 5, Modena 41121 - Italy

See the venue in the map



On 2 October 2017 the CNR-NANO institute in Modena will host the Q-SORT Kick-off Meeting for the official launch and first-ever public presentation of the Q-SORT Project. Funded by the European Commission under its highly competitive Future and Emerging Technologies Programme (FET) to the tune of 3 million Euros, the project will run for 42 months starting on 1 October 2017.

The Kick-off event - which is organised by Q-SORT and supported by CNR-NANO- will bring together leading institutions in the field of electron microscopy and quantum light optics, i.e. CNR-NANO (Project scientific coordinator), the Forschungszentrum Jülich, Thermo Fisher Scientific, The Max Planck Institute for the Science of Light, University of Glasgow, University of Modena and Reggio Emilia, Maastricht University, University of Ottawa.

 Representatives from the European Commission, Wikimedia, and the creative industries will also be in attendance.


Q-SORT introduces a revolutionary concept whereby the transmission electron microscope (TEM) is employed as a so-called Quantum Sorter, i.e. a device that is able to pick out and display detailed information about electron quantum states. This in turn provides researchers with precious new information about the sample being examined.

The project -which includes applications in physics, biology, and biochemistry- is expected to have a wide-ranging impact due to the ubiquitous adoption of TEM and STEM across many disciplines. Indeed, strong interdisciplinarity, featuring a multi-year collaboration between physicists and biologists, is one of Q-SORT’s defining traits. The project features a strong international consortium with potential industrial applications.

Q-SORT also has foundational value in physics as it fosters its own kind of sparse-sensing approach to TEM, advancing the field in the direction of quantum measurement. Intuitively, sparse sensing is analogous to how we recognise familiar people from just a few small details: it means that only a few measurements are taken compared to traditional approaches, yet these are still sufficient to extract all the relevant information. A similar thing happens when we recognise relatives just from their silhouette or profile or any other small detail - we don’t need to see their full face to identify them.


The scientific coordinator and principal investigator of Q-SORT is Vincenzo Grillo, a senior research fellow at CNR - the Italian National Research Council and recipient of the prestigious Humboldt Foundation's Bessel Research Award for his work on beam shaping.


The project also features an international advisory board led by Ebrahim Karimi (University of Ottawa), who has a long-standing collaboration with the principal investigator, Vincenzo Grillo.


The Q-SORT consortium comprises the following European institutions:

CNR-NANO (Project scientific coordinator) - IT

Forschungszentrum Jülich, Ernst Ruska-Centre for Microscopy and Spectroscopy with Electrons - DE

Thermo Fisher Scientific - NL

The Max Planck Institute for the Science of Light - DE

University of Glasgow, Department of Physics and Astronomy - UK

QED Film & Stage Productions Ltd. - UK

University of Modena and Reggio Emilia, Department of Physics, Informatics, and Mathematics - IT

Maastricht University, Maastricht MultiModal Molecular Imaging Institute - NL


A policy based on equal opportunities and gender balance informs the entire project. 






Please fill the registration form with all the required information.

Link to the registration form



We offer a list of suggested hotels with special price for the meeting: download.

More options about accommodation in Modena can be found at



By plane. The closest airport is Bologna Airport "Guglielmo Marconi" (40 Km). From there you can take the Aerbus that runs directly to Modena every two hours. The taxi fare to Modena is approx. € 70.00.

   By train. Modena is reached by several high-speed train from main Italian cities. Check the Trenitalia time schedule



See the venue in the map


The Palazzo dei Musei is located in the centre of Modena.


Busses nr. 2, 5, 13 stop right in front of the entrance, whereas many other busses stop at the close Bus station (Autostazione). Info.

The large car park NoviPark is located within walking distance. It is open every day 24hrs/day. Rates: € 0,90 per daily hour (6.00 am -8.00 pm); € 0,30 per night hour (8.00 pm - 6.00 am).



Information on Modena can easily be found at


For help, support, info, or questions please contact our Secretariat:


Luisa Neri 

Cnr Nano, Modena

ph. +39 059 2055629

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