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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/X038556/1
Title: Hybrid Quantum System of Excitons and Superconductors
Principal Investigator: Jones, Professor MPA
Other Investigators:
O'Brien, Dr K S Adams, Professor CS
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Dr LAP Gallagher
Project Partners:
Department: Physics
Organisation: Durham, University of
Scheme: Standard Research
Starts: 01 August 2023 Ends: 31 July 2027 Value (£): 841,041
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Condensed Matter Physics Quantum Optics & Information
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
No relevance to Underpinning Sectors
Related Grants:
Panel History:
Panel DatePanel NameOutcome
03 May 2023 EPSRC Physical Sciences Prioritisation Panel - May 2023 Announced
Summary on Grant Application Form
In the last 10 years, quantum computing has gone mainstream - with experiments expanding out of university research labs and into industrial R&D, led by technological giants like Google, Microsoft and IBM. Under the bonnet, many of these sophisticated machines rely on superconducting circuits to store and manipulate the quantum information. The operating frequency of these devices is similar to the clock speed of modern classical CPUs - around a few GHz. This frequency, or energy, scale is much, much smaller than that associated with room temperature, and so to get rid of thermal noise and operate in the quantum regime these devices must be cooled to a few thousandths of a degree above absolute zero. While this is possible for a single processor, it is much harder to achieve over the kilometre scales required to build a quantum network.

To overcome this problem, the microwave quantum information needs to be up-converted to an optical signal that can be sent down an optical fibre, or via a satellite. The challenge is to do this efficiently without introducing additional decoherence that might destroy the fragile quantum state. Here we propose to build such a converter using Rydberg excitons - a ``quasi-particle'' with an atom-like spectrum of energy levels that exists inside a semiconducting material called cuprous oxide. Rydberg excitons provide strong coupling to optical and microwave fields and are easily prepared at the ultracold temperatures used in superconducting quantum devices. Our consortium recently became the first group to use Rydberg excitons to map a microwave signal onto light, and in this proposal, we will extend this work into the quantum regime. We will develop the methods required to physically integrate Rydberg excitons and superconducting circuits together, and study ways to maximise the coupling between them, as well as tackling the challenge of reducing optical losses in the conversion process.

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