Quantum Terahertz Nanoelectronics (QuanTeraN)

Lead Research Organisation: University of Glasgow
Department Name: School of Engineering


The UK is one of the leading countries in Terahertz (THz) science and technology. At the moment, there are several research groups and companies (QMC Instruments, Teraview, Laser Quantum etc.) across the country specialising in research and development of THz sources, detectors as well as applications for fundamental research and commercial use. Even though there is a strong THz community in the UK, there are no links between THz and Quantum Technology research. Quantum technology is right now at the forefront of UK's research and innovation. With investments totalling up to £1bn [1], elusive quantum theories are transformed into new technologies, in the so called 'second quantum revolution'. Qubits, the fundamental building blocks of all quantum technologies, have come in an abundance of competing flavours ranging from superconducting, flying, topological to atomic and optical. Despite the large variation, all these qubits have one thing in common: the need of a robust, reliable and scalable technology for their generation, detection and manipulation. Hybrid, high-frequency optoelectronic qubits hold a great promise for robustness and scalability. In this project we will develop the next generation of THz optoelectronic sources with a particular focus on their energy efficiency. Standard optoelectronic devices are at a disadvantage for using them together with quantum circuits due to their high operation energy and low optical-to-electrical conversion efficiency. This, unfortunately, results into an unwanted dissipated heat and when it is put in the proximity of a quantum circuit it can seriously disrupt any quantum information carried by that circuit. The proposed sources will be at least 20 to 50 times more efficient and can used in the future alongside quantum nanoelectronic circuits to generate ultrafast, picosecond qubits without disrupting the quantum nature of neighbouring quantum circuits. In addition, the novel optoelectronic devices developed in this project can be used to study fundamental quantum mechanical interactions at picosecond and sub-picosecond timescales.
This research will be undertaken at the Department of Electronic and Nanoscale Engineering at the James Watt School of Engineering, University of Glasgow. The duration of this project is 24 months and it will involve advanced nanofabrication at the James Watt Nanofabrication Centre and the development of an optoelectronic setup. This setup will have capabilities of performing ultrafast pump-probe measurements at near infrared wavelengths. Through this setup we will generate energy efficient picosecond (THz) pulses, measure their absolute efficiency and compare this with standard commercial devices. This project benefits from collaborations and support from research groups at the Institute Neel, CNRS, France and QMC Instruments.

The results from this research will be a step forward towards more robust and scalable qubits as well as accessing ultrafast quantum dynamics.


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