Flexible Optical Lithography for the SuperFab Facility

Lead Research Organisation: Royal Holloway, University of London
Department Name: Research and Innovation


SuperFab is a superconducting electronic device nanofabrication facility based at Royal Holloway, University of London. It is dedicated to the fabrication of superconducting quantum devices and participates in the race to develop a superconducting quantum computer. Royal Holloway was the first institution in the UK to fabricate and operate superconducting qubit devices.

SuperFab opened in April 2019 following around £10M of investment in world-class electron-beam-lithography, He-ion microscopy and Ne-ion focussed ion beam tools, supported by a wide range of advanced deposition, etching and characterisation tools, all dedicated to the production of sophisticated superconducting quantum devices.

The new tool, an advanced direct-write optical lithography tool, will be integrated into our current nanofabrication processes, it will underpin and enhance our superconducting quantum device development, accelerate device production, enhance device quality and support wafer scale device production.

The new tool will be available to all users of SuperFab and will provide significant impact within the facility through faster anymore reliable device development and prototyping.

Planned Impact

The advent of superconducting quantum technology is expected to have wide and disruptive influences, especially in the fields of quantum computing, quantum sensing and metrology.

Our most important and immediate impact is expected to be through the supply of highly trained and skilled quantum engineers, that incorporate advanced skills in quantum circuit design, nanofabrication, milliKelvin cryogenics, precision RF measurement including quantum techniques and data analysis. These skills are in extremely high demand and we have an excellent track record in placing our graduates in leading labs and research divisions of multinational companies across the world.

The higher speed of production of high quality devices and the faster prototyping resulting from the new equipment is expected to benefit research advances, enabling the continuation of publication of research outputs in high impact journals.

The establishment of wafer scale production and its integration into our dedicated superconducting quantum device nanofabrication processes will also benefit industry, especially the UK based commercial startups working with us on establishing quantum computing systems.

These advantages will support SuperFab to compete more effectively in the global race to establish superconducting quantum technology, especially in the fields of quantum computing, quantum sensing and novel quantum devices. It will also aid commercialisation through adding capability for small production runs at the wafer scale.


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