Quantum information science (QIS) allows us to engineer probes that are highly sensitive to the presence of a specific structure. In this talk I will describe our work on developing QIS-based structured probes and interferometry-related techniques which are geared towards characterizing quantum and biological materials. Materials that exhibit topological spin textures promise to become the basis for the next generation of spintronic devices and protected states in quantum computing. New probes are required for the characterization of these emerging materials, and thermal and cold neutrons are a particularly convenient probe of such materials and magnetic properties. We have developed several novel neutron interferometry techniques as well as the toolbox for preparing and characterizing neutron beams with spin coupled orbital angular momentum. These spin-orbit neutron beams have the potential to significantly change the approach to characterizing magnetic materials. Given that neutron spin and photon polarization behave in similar fashions, we have also successfully transferred several such novel methods for preparing spin-orbit states to laser beams and beams of single photons. One such example is the application to vision science where the incorporation of the toolbox of structured light techniques has enabled the use of novel probes of macular degeneration.