Project IN-QUEST: Innovative Quantum-Enabling Sub-Kelvin Technology

Abstract

Superconducting quantum technology, currently regarded worldwide as the leading candidate architecture for the creation of a quantum computer, requires ultra-low temperatures close to 10 milliKelvin. Access to such low temperatures has until now relied on large research-scale cryogenic platforms that typically occupy several tens of square meters of floorspace, and require either Helium liquefaction plant or high-power 3-phase electricity and water cooling. These cost and infrastructure requirements are significant barriers to the marketisation of quantum computing technologies.

Commercial cryocooler systems reaching temperatures below 4K are now available in a compact, mobile format that requires only single-phase domestic electrical supply. This creates the technical opportunity to access ultra-low temperatures using compact add-on modules to provide the next-step cooling from 4K down to milliKelvin temperatures. All necessary technological solutions are, in principle, already available for such 'desktop' quantum technology, but they have never before been integrated together into a low-power, low-cost cooling platform designed for quantum computing applications. Demonstrating the feasibility of such a product is the central aim of this project. By dramatically cutting both the capital and operational cost of quantum computing, this development would hugely accelerate its deployment, for example, in hospitals, banks, ports and airports, in both fixed and 'mobile' field-based applications.

The project leaders, Chase Research Cryogenics (CRC) are leading world experts in self-contained cryocooler modules operating from 1K to 0.1K and have an established track record of designing and manufacturing instruments for academics, research institutions and quantum technology companies around the world. CRC will work closely with project partners SeeQC.UK, a company specialising in the development of a cryogenic qubit controller that forms the core of practical quantum computing resources. CRC and SeeQC.UK will together explore and demonstrate the feasibility of operating the SeeQC.UK quantum technology on CRC's novel cooling platform.

Meeting the major challenge of extending CRC's current cooling technology to millikelvin temperatures will require us to unlock the deep specialist knowledge currently residing in the world-leading low-temperature research groups in UK universities, and transfer their know-how into the commercial world. This project will therefore bring together, for the first time, academic and commercial partners in a unique team, encompassing a unique range of knowledge, skills and expertise that could revolutionize the potential for commercialisation of quantum computing.

Lead Participant

Project Cost

Grant Offer

ChaSE Research Cryogenics Ltd £263,450 £ 184,415
 

Participant

Cardiff University, United Kingdom £84,047 £ 84,047
Lancaster University, United Kingdom £18,566 £ 18,566
Royal Holloway University of London, Egham £14,076 £ 14,076
Seeqc UK Limited, London £73,638 £ 51,547

Publications

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