Ultrafast Single-photon detection for Quantum Applications (USQA)

Lead Research Organisation: Heriot-Watt University
Department Name: Sch of Engineering and Physical Science


Single-photon detection is the ability to capture the single quantum of light and is rapidly emerging as the critical capability for numerous emerging quantum technologies, as well as a range of new low-light sensing applications. This International Centre-to-Centre Collaboration proposal links three centres of excellence in quantum photonics to produce a collaboration designed to yield sustained world-class research in the field by combining their complementary expertise. The teams at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) working with academic partners at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) have made significant advances in the field of superconducting nanowire optical detectors in recent years, providing world-class temporal performance (> 5 times better than previously) and the largest format detector arrays yet demonstrated. The link to Heriot-Watt University offers a unique opportunity to use these state-of-the-art detectors in emerging quantum technology application areas such as single-photon and quantum-enhanced LIDAR, free-space and satellite-based quantum communications and in the use of quantum entanglement in ultra-high dimensional quantum imaging and communications. This EPSRC International Centre-to-Centre Collaboration affords a rare opportunity to enhance several world-leading research strands at Heriot-Watt, and make a significant, complementary and sustained contribution to major UK collaborative research initiatives, particularly the EPSRC SPEXS Programme Grant and the EPSRC Quantum Technology Hub network, strongly in line with UK research priorities.


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