Further support for our collaborations with the growing UK quantum industry

18 December 2017

Oxford Physicists have partnered with UK quantum technology companies to win funding in the latest Innovate UK competition. Three of our collaborative projects were awarded grants and are described below.

These new projects are in addition to three projects funded earlier this year, further demonstrating the growing demand in UK industry to work with Oxford Physics. As the lead academic partner in the Networked Quantum Information Technologies (NQIT) hub, our researchers are working with industry to create the technology that will power a demonstrator quantum computer by 2020. Our staff will also move into state of the art laboratories early next year in our new Beecroft Building.

Compilation & Circuit Layout Optimisation For Superconducting Quantum Processor
Oxford Physics are collaborating with Oxford Quantum Circuits Limited (OQC), who are developing quantum computing processors based on superconducting circuits. A fundamental business question for OQC is what applications (quantum algorithms) are best suited for its technology, and how to most efficiently realise first generation processors that will be capable of running these applications, and hence generate sales. This project addresses this challenge from two angles; development by Cambridge Quantum Computing Limited (CQC) of a quantum compiler dedicated to the OQC hardware architecture, and prototype development and assessment of circuit layouts with differing connectivity maps. These two directions will be combined with assessment of mapping of quantum algorithms onto the OQC architecture to produce clear direction for OQC R&D in the next phase of its development.

MITAS: Miniaturised Ion Trap Atomic Source
The next 20 years are poised to see the 'second quantum revolution', with the widespread emergence of technologies and devices, leveraging the properties of superposition and entanglement which govern the dynamics of light and matter at the smallest scales. Potentially most disruptive of all quantum technologies is quantum computing, which permits the efficient computation of a variety of problems that are effectively intractable with conventional computers, including searching large databases, advanced materials design in aerospace applications and pharmaceutical drug discovery. The UK is currently taking a leading role in the development of both hardware and software for quantum computing, and has fostered a wide base of expertise in these areas. In this project, Oxford Physics are collaborating with ColdQuanta Ltd to develop a compact vacuum system complete with integrated atomic source for use within ion trap quantum computers. One of the specific challenges on the road to developing a large quantum computer is the high level of engineering required to produce the devices and their subcomponents. This project seeks to develop a key subcomponent for an ion trap quantum computer within an industrial setting using scalable techniques. The successful execution of this project will bolster UK industry's position within the emerging international market in quantum computing and permit the future development of highly integrated systems.

Simulation Software for Modelling Quantum Light Sources
Quantum photonics is an emergent field of technology promising to revolutionise science and day-to-day life alike. Amongst other benefits, it is anticipated that it will usher in ultra-secure communication, powerful super-fast computers and vastly increased data storage. These advancements are all based on the premise of developing single-photon sources: special sources of light characterised by emitting one photon at a time. Semiconductor QDs, consisting of nanometre-sized inclusions of one semiconductor within another, are atom-like systems emerging as attractive candidates for SPSs. However, they operate at very low temperatures requiring liquid helium cooling, which is a major drawback. In this project, we will apply our unique simulation software for prediction of the interaction of light pulses with quantum nanostructures to design, build and optimise integrated nitride SPSs that can produce single photons at temperatures in excess of 200 K reachable by on-chip thermoelectric cooling. By applying our software to this cutting-edge quantum technology area, we aim to prove its integrity and predictive power. This will be an important step on the road to developing an indispensable toolkit for quantum photonics research and engineering. This project sees a collaboration led by Quantopticon Ltd and includes Oxford Physics, the Tyndall National Institute and the University of Cambridge.