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SETsquared University expertise connected to the Quantum Technologies

The Scale-Up partner universities have a wealth of research expertise, capabilities and experience in quantum technologies.  The following information is not exhaustive, but is intended to demonstrate the breadth of activity within the six universities:

University of Bristol

  • Bristol Quantum Information Institute crystalises research across the entire spectrum, from theory to technology. Our expert cross-disciplinary team, including founders of the field, has expertise in all major areas of theoretical quantum information science and in experiment. We foster partnerships with the private sector and provide superb teaching and training for the future generation of quantum scientists and engineers and the prototypes of tomorrow.
  • The Photonics and Quantum Research Group is pursuing world leading research topics leading to cheaper, faster information and communication technologies, inexpensive sensors to revolutionise healthcare and new methods of harvesting renewable energy.

Areas of research:

  • Photonic Quantum information – secure quantum key distribution, photon sources, quantum gates and quantum measurement.
  • Optical Communication Systems – optical fibre communications forms the backbone of all land based communications and as the bandwidth increases we require faster devices, switches and new systems concepts.
  • Optical materials, devices and fabrication – the group have developed world-leading semiconductor laser and optical amplifier models and applied them to model quantum dot lasers and amplifiers, and in dilute nitride lasers.
  • Solar energy research – the group has a fully equipped solar cell lab with a solar simulator for recreating sunlight conditions in the lab and I-V curve tracer for characterising the efficiency of solar cells.

Quantum Information Theory group has members in the Schools of Mathematics and Physics. Interested in all theoretical aspects of quantum information science, including:

  • Fundamental aspects of quantum mechanics
  • Mathematical underpinnings of quantum information theory
  • Quantum algorithms
  • Quantum computation
  • Quantum nonlocality
  • Applications of quantum information theory to other disciplines (e.g. thermodynamics)

We are part of the Bristol Quantum Information Institute and regularly collaborate on experimental work with our colleagues in the Quantum Engineering Technology Labs.

Quantum Engineering Labs (QET) Labs encompasses activity of over 100 academics, staff and students. It brings together the broader quantum and related activity at Bristol to maximise opportunities for new science discoveries that underpin engineering and technology development. The research spans the School of Physics and Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering in the Faculties of Science and Engineering, and the Centre for Nanoscience and Quantum Information.

Areas of research:

  • Quantum Communication and Networks – focuses on quantum entanglement as the main route to quantum communications that are able to exceed the powers of existing classical techniques. A major research interest is Quantum Key Distribution (QKD) which was developed in partnership with Nokia.
  • Quantum Sensing and Metrology – precision measurements are critical to quantum research. We are interested in optical phase measurements, to measure distance, position, acceleration, and optical path length. This will help create new high-precision measurement applications.
  • Quantum Information and Computation – Quantum computers will harness quantum physics in their operation to deliver exponentially greater computational power for important tasks that include pattern recognition, face recognition and machine learning in big data.

Centre for Doctoral Training in Quantum Engineering – offers exceptional training and development experience, supporting the understanding of sound fundamental scientific principles and their practical application to real-world challenges. With multiple key breakthroughs in the past decade that will lead to the development of large-scale quantum technologies in the future, photonics is one of the technological platforms leading the way.

Areas of research:

Centre for Nanoscience and Quantum Information – dedicated research centre for nanoscience and quantum information activities. The NSQI is a purpose-built centre, designed to provide extremely stable laboratories for research at the nanoscale.

A partner university in the EPSRC Quantum Communications Hub – private sector and public sector working together in a unique collaboration for research-led development and commercialisation of quantum secure communications, focusing particularly on quantum key distribution (QKD) – one of the most mature quantum technologies for the secure distribution of encryption keys.

University of Bath

  • Centre for Photonics and Photonic Materials – conducts research in Quantum optics. Much of this work is based in Bath’s state-of-the-art fabrication facilities and extensive optical laboratories, which are equipped with a wide range of laser sources and optical test gear. The centre also does extensive numerical modelling of both linear and nonlinear optical effects.
  • Nanoscience Group – carries out research in how quantum mechanical and thermodynamic properties of molecules, nanostructures, multilayers and glassy materials can be modified in particular Quantum Devices.
  • A partner of the UK Quantum Technology Hub in Computing & Simulation (QCS Hub). Part of a national programme to develop quantum technologies, QCS Hub brings together leading UK academic and industry partners to tackle key challenges and accelerate progress in quantum computing, both in the UK and internationally

Cardiff University

  • Institute for Compound Semiconductors and Compound Semiconductor Quantum Technology – provides cutting-edge, full-scale, industrially relevant shared facilities for collaboration. A state-of-the-art laboratory space provides practical demonstrations of quantum devices, enabling close integration of the design, production and demonstration of new technology in compound semiconductor materials.
  • Compound Semiconductor Centre (CSC) – a joint venture with IQE PLC, focusing on the application of UK-derived quantum science to address real-world problems and drive the future of the British automotive, transport and energy industries.
  • Quantum Technologies and Engineering (QuTeE) – extensive experience in techniques to design, control and optimise the behaviour of quantum processes based on methods to model and simulate quantum systems, characterising behaviour by parameter and model learning, and visualising and analysing measurement signals. Focus on applications relating to:
    • spin dynamics
    • quantum spin networks
    • magnetic resonance imaging and spectroscopy
    • spintronics and semiconductor devices chemical synthesis

School of Physics and Astronomy – recent research projects include:

Condensed Matter and Photonics Research Group – focuses on:

University of Exeter

Strengths include quantum engineering, nano materials and electronics and quantum computing. Our experts span four main research groups and centres of excellence:

A partner in QuantIC, the UK Quantum Technology Hub in Quantum Enhanced Imaging, which brings together universities and partners from across the UK.  QuantIC’s focus is on developing revolutionary imaging systems that shift the way imaging occurs, such as the ability to see directly inside the human body, the ability to see through fog and smoke, to make microscopes with higher resolution and lower noise than classical physics allows, and quantum radars that cannot be jammed or confused by other radars around them.

Exeter has long-standing experience in working with industrial partners, including BAE Systems, Hitachi, Dyson and Thales, spanning the ICT, energy, healthcare, and defence & security sectors, providing fit-for-purpose collaborations. Cutting-edge research has also resulted in successful spin-out companies, like Concrene Ltd, which applies cutting edge nanoscience to improve the strength of concrete and reduce its carbon footprint.

Across our research groups, we can support partners who are interested in a broad variety of areas of quantum theory and applications, including:

o   Quantum Engineering and Nano Electronics

o   2D materials

o   Colossal permittivity

o   Electrical and thermal transport in nanostructures

o   Interface physics; atomic scale material design

o   Quantum cryptography

o   Quantum field theory

o   Quantum optics and light emission

o   Quantum sensors

o   Quantum imaging

o   Scattered light in disordered media

o   Thermal quantum materials

o   Quantum Optics of 2D materials and Polaritonics

o   Quantum Computing and Simulation

o   Time Crystals and Non-equilibrium Dynamics

o   Machine Learning

University of Southampton

Optoelectronics Research Centre (ORC) is one of the world’s leading institutes for photonic research; an interdisciplinary research centre it is home to 30 research groups that can be categorised into the following broad themes:

  • Optical Materials
  • Optical Fibres
  • Optical Networks and Systems
  • Light Generation and Manipulation
  • Biophotonic Microsystems
  • Fundamental Photonics

ORC is recognised globally for its innovative work in a range of technologies including silicon photonics, fibre lasers and advanced materials, with applications in a wide range of industries including defence, manufacturing, healthcare, oil and gas, and telecommunications.

  • Physics and Astronomy group – astronomy, quantum, light and matter, and theoretical particle physics.
  • Quantum Light and Matter group studies nanoscale properties of matter (atoms to solids) and their interactions with light, and encompasses the following research groups:
  • Quantum Nanophysics and Matter Wave Interferometry Group focuses on quantum optomechanics and magnetomechanics experiments to generate non-classical states of large-mass systems and to test fundamental theories of nature, such as quantum mechanics and gravity.
  • Quantum Technologies for Fundamental Physics Group – addresses questions in the overlap of quantum theory and general relativity using quantum information and metrology techniques, including using quantum systems to measure gravitational waves and set constraints on dark energy.
  • Quantum Control Group – new methods for the optical cooling, trapping and manipulation of atoms and molecules, using temporally and spatially programmed laser fields and nanostructured surfaces.
  • Quantum nanoPhotonics Group – new platforms for quantum technologies and quantum information sciences based on the integration of photons and emitters in the solid state.
  • Solid-State Quantum Optics Group – light-matter interaction at the nanoscale with the aim of both unveiling fundamental quantum phenomena and fabricating novel devices with added quantum functionalities.
  • Hybrid Quantum Networks Lab – quantum light-matter interactions between atomic ensembles and single photons, to form large-scale quantum photonic networks for the processing of quantum information over global distances.
  • Hybrid Photonics Group – combine the purity of inorganic semiconductors and the versatility of organic materials and colloidal nanoparticles in novel hybrid configurations and we explore the properties and possible applications of this amalgamation.
  • Quantum Theory & Technology Group – cavity quantum electrodynamics and semiconductor optics.
  • Theory of Light Matter Coupling in Nanostructures – theoretical description of light-matter coupling phenomena in low-dimensional semiconductor structures.
  • Nanomaterials Group – properties of materials whose nanometer scale size means that their properties are modified from that of their parent material.
  • Integrated Nanophotonics Group – fundamental understanding and new applications using nanophotonics, integrated in areas such as silicon photonic chips, photonic AI, metasurfaces and biomedicine.
  • Soft Photonics Systems Group – optical properties and nonlinear effects in photosensitive materials, primarily in liquid crystals and polymers, and their applications in sensing, fibre and integrated optics devices.
  • Functional Nanomaterials and Applications Group – new nanomaterials and customising their surface chemistry for targetability and dispersity in complex media. Functional nanomaterials are used for diagnostics, drug delivery, new LEDs, photovoltaic devices and photonics.
  • Lasers and Terahertz laboratories – integration of THz spectroscopy to open routes for biological applications and microfluidics. Developing passively mode-locked optically-pumped Vertical-External-Cavity Surface-Emitting Lasers (VECSELs) as compact versatile sources.
  • Coherent X-ray Science Group – the use of coherent X-ray diffraction and imaging techniques to study phenomena in strongly correlated materials on the nanoscale.
  • Integrated Atom Chip Group – developing the miniature components and underpinning technologies that will transform ultra-sensitive quantum-enabled measurement and information processing mechanisms (‘atom chips’) from laboratory demonstrations into practical integrated devices.

University of Southampton is also actively involved in the Quantum technologies hubs for sensing and timing, enhanced imaging and computing and simulation.

Collaborating with partners, the ZI also undertakes applied research and offers services and solutions to enable partners to access cutting edge technology and expertise.

University of Surrey

Expertise relating to the realisation of quantum computing devices, and currently leading a £6m research project develop quantum computers using atomic-scale devices. Research involves work towards understanding the physics of solid state quantum devices and designing new devices and protocols for quantum information processing. These devices also have applications in other quantum technologies from cryptography to sensing to simulation. The two primary platforms under investigation are silicon donors and superconducting resonators.

  • A partner in the UK government’s Quantum Computing and Simulation Hub working on theoretical and experimental research covering disparate topics from interaction effects in mesoscopic physics, quantum non-equilibrium, quantum optics, as well as topological states of matter and superconducting circuits.
  • Surrey’s Advanced Technology Institute (ATI) is a world-leading research centre bringing together researchers with an international outlook in quantum information, nanotechnology, energy and advanced materials.
  • The ATI houses significant facilities and equipment such as; “Kara” HPC computer cluster, Electronic device and circuit simulation, unique THz nanoscopy facility for quality control of silicon donor qubit registers, and the Ion Beam Centre.
  • The Ion Beam Centre is a national facility and houses three accelerators for ion beam analysis, ion implantation and ion irradiation purposes.

Major achievements and impacts

 Single ion implant –

Over the last three years we have been constructing two unique focused ion beam instruments with a UK company, Ionoptika. These machines have the name SIMPLE, Single Ion Multi-species, Positioning and Low Energies. 

Silicon Donors –

Developing concepts for solid state atomic clocks, and non-linear optical devices for THz photonics (one patent application filed) –

SETsquared is a partnership between

  • University of Bath
  • University of Bristol
  • University of Exeter
  • University of Southampton
  • University of Surrey