Quantum relic axion detection sensors

Axions, or axions-like particles, are important candidates for dark matter in the universe. The QRADES project is devoted to their quantum enhanced detection in the Milky Way halo. The focus of the project will be the magneto-electric coupling term in Maxwell’s equations expected to arise from the existence of axions. Theory predicts them to be with the maximum likelihood in the microwave range. The detection scheme developed in the project will be based on mature quantum sensing technology in the microwave range using superconducting quantum circuits and magnonics. We expect within the QRADES project to enable at least two orders of magnitude increase of the scanning range for the axion mass/frequency. The methods developed in the QRADES project will borrow both from the quantum physics of circuits and from particle physics. This will allow us to probe cosmologically relevant corrections to Maxwell’s equations at the quantum limit. Our experiments will allow us either to detect for the first time prominent dark matter candidates or to put new constraints on the modifications of the standard model.



  • Coordinator:  Takis Kontos (Laboratoire de Physique de l’ENS, FR)
  •  Wolfgang Wernsdorfer (Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, DE)
  • Babette Dobrich  (Max Planck-Gesellschaft zur Förderung der Wissenscheften EV, DE)
  •  Igor Garcia Irastorza (University of Zaragoza, ES)
  • Forn-Díaz pol (Institut de Física d’Altes Energies, ES)
  • Gheorghe-Sorin Paraoanu (Aalto University, FI)

Call year

Call 2023

Call topic

Quantum Phenomena and Resources

Area of research

Quantum metrology sensing and imaging

Start date

April 2024


36 months

Funding support

€ 1 523 703

Project status

In Progress