Quantum technology

NWO-funded consortium of UvA, TU Delft, Toyota and Quix aims to develop central building blocks for quantum computers

Information technologies are at the heart of modern society. The future of this sector lies in quantum information technologies, which promise a big leap forward in computation and communication. The Dutch Research Council (NWO) has awarded an €850,000 Open Technology Grant to a consortium that will develop central building blocks for future quantum computers. The consortium, led by UvA-physicist Peter Schall, will consist of the University of Amsterdam, TU Delft and industry partners Toyota and Quix.

In future quantum computers, the electronics of present computer chips may be partially replaced by technology based on light. Quantum computing based on light offers an alternative, potentially very powerful technology that can be used at room temperature rather than at the very low temperatures at which many quantum computers work.

The key building block of a light-based quantum computing chip would be a single-photon emitter. Such a device provides single quanta of light – photons – one by one. Single photon emitters are still challenging to make and integrate into optical quantum chips, but recently developed materials that are only a few layers of atoms thick – making them effectively two-dimensional – do offer prospects for bright single-photon sources, which makes them promising for use in optical quantum computer chips.

With a cross-disciplinary consortium of experts in 2D materials, spectroscopy and nanophotonics, as well as users in optical quantum computing and automobile industry, UvA, TU Delft, Toyota and Quix now aim to develop efficient 2D single photon emitters for integration into photonic chips for quantum as well as classical information applications. This week, the NWO domain Applied and Engineering Sciences awarded the consortium an €850,000 Open Technology Grant, which will fund the research for the next four years.

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