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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/N015118/1
Title: Quantum technology capital: QUES2T (Quantum Engineering of Solid-state Technologies)
Principal Investigator: Morton, Professor JJL
Other Investigators:
Leek, Dr PJ Williams, Professor OA Elzerman, Dr JM
Warburton, Professor PA Atature, Professor M Buitelaar, Dr MR
Smith, Professor CG Withington, Professor S Ferguson, Dr AJ
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
Element Six Ltd Hitachi IMEC
Lockheed Martin National Physical Laboratory Toshiba
Department: London Centre for Nanotechnology
Organisation: UCL
Scheme: Standard Research
Starts: 01 April 2016 Ends: 31 March 2019 Value (£): 8,548,965
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Related Grants:
Panel History:
Panel DatePanel NameOutcome
23 Oct 2015 QT Capital Call Sift panel Announced
17 Dec 2015 QT Capital Interviews Announced
Summary on Grant Application Form
Solid state electronic devices have transformed our lives over the past fifty years: the development of devices like the transistor, integrated circuits and magnetic hard disks have given us a revolution in computing power, portable electronics and the ability to store and handle vast amounts of data. Quantum technologies aim to harness the power of quantum physics to deliver a further revolution in areas such as computing, sensing and communication. The UK is currently making a major investment in the exploitation of quantum science research to deliver a range of quantum technologies - so far this investment has focused on platforms of photonics, cold atoms and trapped ions. The aim of our proposal, Quantum Engineering of Solid-State Technologies, or QUES2T, is to address the capability gap in in quantum solid-state technologies and ensure the UK is in a strong competitive position in some of the most high-impact and scalable quantum technologies.

In QUES2T we focus on three solid-state platforms which are well-poised to make significant commercial impact: i) silicon nano-devices, ii) superconducting circuits and iii) diamond-based devices. Each of these materials have demonstrated outstanding properties: silicon can store quantum information for a record-breaking 3 hours, superconducting circuits have been used to make the most complex quantum devices to date, while diamond based magnetometer have a sensitivity to image individual proton spins in a second. We will exploit these properties to develop practical quantum technologies. Importantly, we do not consider these platforms in isolation. A key strength and unique feature of QUES2T is that it not only provides essential infrastructure in each of these three areas but that it brings together a team of people with expertise across these different platforms. This will allow exchange of cross-fertilisation of different disciplines through transfer of expertise and the accelerated development of hybrid technologies that combine the best properties of different materials, to make new detectors, memories, and processors.

QUES2T will allow UK researchers and their collaborators to exploit the advantages of developing new quantum devices based on solid state technologies, including easier integration with existing conventional technologies (such as CMOS processors) and reduced timescales to market and manufacturing. The capital infrastructure of QUES2T will establish world-class fabrication capabilities to manufacture high-quality quantum device prototypes out of a range of materials. It will also enable the creation of low-temperature technology test-beds to test the prototypes and develop technology demonstrators. These test-beds will combine a number of essential features, enabling devices to be addressed optically using lasers, with microwave pulses, under low-noise electrical measurements, and all at a hundredth of a degree kelvin. Such systems will be unique UK.

To deliver our vision, we have established strong links with academic and industrial partners to exchange the latest technology, expertise and materials. Examples are ultra low-phase noise signal generators with applications in fast high-fidelity qubit control or isotopically pure materials for quantum prototypes in Si and diamond. Industry users working on quantum technologies will be actively encouraged to access the QUES2T infrastructure, such as a state-of-the-art 100 keV electron beam writer to make devices with 10nm features. Many industry partners will also be end users of the technologies that will be developed through QUES2T. Early technologies include scanning probe devices enabling magnetic resonance imaging at the single molecule level and quantum current standards counting electrons one-by-one. On a longer timescale, a fault-tolerant and scalable Si or superconducting based quantum processor, would be form the basis of a new and disruptive industry in computing.
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