Fraunhofer’s Centre for Applied Photonics (CAP) in Glasgow, part of Fraunhofer UK, is leading an ambitious, collaborative drive to make quantum technology (QT) easier to adopt.
The project - QT Assemble - will address the challenges of size, weight, power and reliability through the use of innovative assembly processes such as waveguide writing, nanoscale alignment and monolithic integration.
Fraunhofer CAP will work in partnership with 13 organisations from across the UK: the University of Strathclyde, INEX Microtechnology, the University of Southampton, PowerPhotonic Ltd, Gooch & Housego (Torquay) Ltd, Photon Force Ltd, ColdQuanta UK Ltd, UniKLasers Ltd, Covesion Ltd, RedWave Labs Ltd, Caledonian Photonics Ltd, Alter Technology Tuv Nord UK Ltd and AegiQ Ltd.
The aim is to enable the wider adoption of QT by producing miniature, integrated devices such as lasers and photon sources, detectors and sources of cold atoms.
The project is analogous to the challenge that electronics faced in moving from large discrete components, such as valves, to thumbnail units with ubiquitous applications.
As well as widening opportunities in existing markets, such as navigation and situational awareness, communications and computing, the group hopes its work will open up new markets.
The project is funded by the UK Quantum Technologies Challenge led by UK Research and Innovation. It is part of a wider package delivered through the UK National Quantum Technologies Programme which is set to make a £1B investment over its lifetime.
Simon Andrews, Executive Director of Fraunhofer UK Research said:
“This collaboration will revolutionise quantum technology and take it to another level of practicality. That sheer scale of the dimensions with which we’re working is extremely exciting and we’re delighted to be part of creating an advanced supply chain for a key technology which plays an increasingly significant role in our everyday lives.”
Roger McKinlay, Challenge Director for the UK Quantum Technologies Challenge added:
“This is an outstanding team with – in Fraunhofer CAP – a skilled leader. The assembly and integration processes addressed by this project are not only essential for the creation of new quantum products but are rich in the know-how through which the UK will establish a strong internationally competitive position.”
Stephen Duffy, CEO of Alter Technology TUV NORD UK LTD, said
“ This project will extend our portfolio of diode laser modules for Quantum applications to new levels. We will move from current discrete optic, system in package level integration to monolithic and chip scale based modules offering new levels of performance, compactness and robustness for photonics modules used in Quantum Technology applications. We are very excited to be involved in this truly innovative project. “