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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/L024020/1
Title: Engineering Photonic Quantum Technologies
Principal Investigator: Rarity, Professor J
Other Investigators:
Buller, Professor G May, Professor D Laing, Professor A
O'Brien, Professor JL Paul, Professor DJ Rudolph, Professor TG
Hadfield, Professor RH Thompson, Professor MG
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
BAE Systems Bristol City Council British Science Association
D Wave Systems Inc Defence Science & Tech Lab DSTL Google
Hewlett Packard Inc IBM UK Ltd Lumentum
NASA National Inst of Info & Comm Tech (NICT) National Institute of Informatics (NII)
National Physical Laboratory Quintessence labs Sandia National Laboratory
Single quantum University of Queensland XMOS Ltd
Department: Physics
Organisation: University of Bristol
Scheme: Programme Grants
Starts: 16 June 2014 Ends: 15 June 2019 Value (£): 5,062,360
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Communications Information Technologies
Related Grants:
Panel History:
Panel DatePanel NameOutcome
12 Mar 2014 Programme Grant Interviews (ICT) - 12 March 2014 Announced
Summary on Grant Application Form
The description of the laws of quantum mechanics saw a transformation in society's understanding of the physical world-for the first time we understood the rules that govern the counterintuitive domain of the very small. Rather than being just passive observers now scientists are using these laws to their advantage and quantum phenomena are providing us with methods of improved measurement and communication; furthermore they promise a revolution in the way materials are simulated and computations are performed. Over the last decade significant progress has been made in the application of quantum phenomena to meeting these challenges.

This "Engineering Photonic Quantum Technologies" Programme Grant goes significantly beyond previous achievements in the quantum technology field. Through a series of carefully orchestrated work packages that develop the underlying materials, systems engineering, and theory we will develop the knowledge and skills that enable us to create application demonstrators with significant academic and societal benefit. For the first time in quantum technologies we are combining materials and device development and experimental work with the important theoretical considerations of architectures and fault tolerant approaches. Our team of investigators and partners have the requisite expertise in materials, individual components, their integration, and the underpinning theory that dictates the optimal path to achieving the programme goals in the presence of real-world constraints.

Through this programme we will adopt the materials systems most capable of providing application specific solutions in each of four technology demonstrations focused on quantum communications, quantum enhanced sensing, the construction of a multiplexed single-photon source and information processing systems that outperform modern classical analogues. To achieve this, our underlying technology packages will demonstrate very low optical-loss waveguides which will be used to create the necessary 'toolbox' of photonic components such as splitters, delays, filters and switches. We will integrate these devices with superconducting and semiconducting single-photon detector systems and heralded single-photon sources to create an integrated source+circuit+detector capability that becomes the basis for our technology demonstrations. We address the challenge of integrating these optical elements (in the necessary low-temperature environment) with the very low latency classical electronic control systems that are required of detection-and-feedforward schemes such as multiplexed photon-sources and cluster-state generation and computation. At all times a thorough analysis of the performance of all these elements informs our work on error modelling and fault tolerant designs; these then inform all aspects of the technology demonstrators from inception, through decisions on the optimal materials choices for a system, to the layout of a circuit on a wafer.

With these capabilities we will usher in a disruptive transformation in ICT. We will demonstrate mutli-node quantum key distribution (QKD) networks, high-bit rate QKD systems with repeaters capable of spanning unlimited distances. Our quantum enhanced sensing will surpass the classical shot noise limit and see the demonstration of portable quantum-enhanced spectroscopy system. And our quantum information processors will operate with 10-qubits in a fault tolerant scheme which will provide the roadmap to 1,000 qubit cluster state computing architectures.

Key Findings
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Potential use in non-academic contexts
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Date Materialised
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Organisation Website: http://www.bris.ac.uk