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12 December 2016

'Hybrid' Logic Gate named one of Physics World's Breakthroughs of the Year for 2016

A key NQIT publication of 2016 - the demonstration of a quantum 'logic gate' between two different species of ion - has been named one of ten Breakthroughs of the Year in 2016 by Physics World.

05 December 2016

New method developed for creating solid state qubits using lasers

NQIT researchers have taken a significant step forward in the development of solid state spin qubits by developing a new method for forming nitrogen-vacancy (NV) centres in diamond using laser writing. In a new paper published today in Nature Photonics, Yu-Chen Chen and Professor Jason Smith in the Department of Materials at Oxford University, along with Dr Patrick Salter and Prof Martin Booth from the Department of Engineering Science and colleagues at the Universities of Bristol and Warwick, demonstrate controlled generation of single NV centres in diamond at a precise location within the crystal lattice.

02 December 2016

Construction of practical quantum computers radically simplified

NQIT researchers at the University of Sussex have proposed an exciting new architecture for scalable ion trap quantum computing that could radically simplify the engineering challenge of building a large-scale quantum computer. In a new paper published in Physical Review Letters, Dr Seb Weidt and Professor Winfried Hensinger and colleagues from the Ion Quantum Technology Group, present a fundamentally different approach for trapped-ion quantum computing that uses voltages and microwave fields to control the ions, rather than lasers. This new design is based on individually-controlled voltages applied to each logic gate location, analogous to a traditional transistor architecture within a classical computer processor. When implemented, it would allow a substantial reduction in the number of laser beams required and a simplification of the design of the “chip” used to hold the trapped-ion qubits.

01 December 2016

NQIT researchers push electronic control of qubits to new levels of precision

NQIT’s trapped-ion qubit research team at the University of Oxford have achieved record-breaking precision in electronically-controlled quantum logic gates, which could substantially simplify the engineering challenge of building a large-scale quantum computer. In recent work reported in Physical Review Letters [1], Dr Tom Harty, Martin Sepiol and colleagues, report the achievement of a two-qubit entangling gate – the fundamental operation of quantum logic – driven by electronic microwave signals instead of by laser beams. The precision of the gate improves on previous microwave work by nearly two orders of magnitude, and approaches the levels required for a quantum computer.

24 November 2016

Technical Roadmap for Quantum Computing

Our Industry Engagement Team has produced a new report: Technical Roadmap for Fault-Tolerant Quantum Computing. This report aims to show the technical steps needed to build a fully functional quantum computer. We give an overview of the subject, and review leading technologies to realise such a computer. We include an estimate of the resources needed for real world problems and address the most common concerns. We also discuss the possible applications that would become available during the process towards building a fully universal quantum computer, i.e. what you can achieve with a “small” quantum computer. These applications apply to fields such as physics and chemistry simulations, encryption, and optimisation. We hope that this technical report will be helpful to those who want to understand, engage, develop, manufacture or invest in this technology.

15 November 2016

National Quantum Technologies Showcase

November 3rd was the 2016 National Quantum Technologies Showcase, held at the QEII Centre in Westminster, London. This one-day showcase event highlighted the exciting new quantum technologies that are being developed by the Quantum Technology Hubs and our industrial partners. Following on from the success of the first national quantum technologies showcase last year, the 2016 event highlighted the relationship with industry and the UK National Quantum Technology Programme’s potential for the creation of new markets and economic benefit. The Showcase received over 600 registrations from industry, academia and government, and had thirty nine exhibits demonstrating the collaborative nature of the programme involving academia, industry and government partners and included demonstrators from a range of investments made as part of the National Programme including the Quantum Technology Hubs, Industry and the National Physical Laboratory. NQIT had demonstrations from across our academic partners, showing our ion trap technology, our photonics work on wavelength conversion and spin-out technology to develop a magnetometer based on our diamond NV-centre work.

24 October 2016

Martin Dawson wins 2016 IEEE Photonics Society Aron Kressel Award

The 2016 Aron Kressel Award will be presented to Professor Martin Dawson, University of Strathclyde, "for broad and sustained contributions to semiconductor opto‐electronic engineering, including  optically‐pumped semiconductor lasers, diamond photonics and gallium‐nitride microdevices".

18 October 2016

New animation about Quantum Computing

We have produced a new animation about quantum computing: The Exciting New Age of Quantum Computing

14 October 2016

Optical Microcavities for Sensing Nanoparticles

In NQIT we work a lot on building components that provide the precise control over light and matter needed for quantum computers. In particular, as part of our work on solid-state qubits, we have been developing "optical microcavities" - tiny light-confining devices on a micrometer scale - to improve the efficiency of coupling quantum nodes to a network. These "optical microcavities", made up of mirrors just a few micrometres apart, force photons to bounce back and forth thousands of times interacting strongly with any material present. For quantum computing this means that a solid state qubit, such as a single colour centre in diamond, placed in the cavity, can convey quantum information more efficiently to a larger quantum network.

08 August 2016

Record-breaking logic gate "another important milestone" on road to quantum computers

NQIT Researchers at the University of Oxford have achieved a quantum logic gate with record-breaking 99.9% precision, reaching the benchmark required theoretically to build a quantum computer. Quantum computers, which function according to the laws of quantum physics, have the potential to dwarf the processing power of today’s computers, able to process huge amounts of information all at once. The team achieved the logic gate, which places two atoms in a state of quantum entanglement and is the fundamental building block of quantum computing, with a precision (or fidelity) substantially greater than the previous world record. Quantum entanglement – a phenomenon described by Einstein as ‘spooky’, but which is at the heart of quantum technologies – occurs when two particles stay connected, such that an action on one affects the other, even when they are separated by great distances.