Optimising Quantum Processes and Quantum Devices for future Digital Economy Applications

Academic Lead – Almut Beige (Leeds)

It is now widely known that quantum information (QI) offers huge potential for future technologies and  services to support the Digital Economy. Examples include quantum computers that could outperform any  conventional computers, quantum communication protocols that guarantee unbreakable security and  quantum sensors that offer unprecedented sensitivity.

This project is to optimise quantum devices and quantum protocols for future quantum  technologies and services. The research will be carried out in three overlapping and complementary  theoretical research areas. We are very fortunate within the White Rose collaboration to have internationally  recognised QI activities at all three network nodes. The two researchers in Sheffield (Whittaker, Kok) belong  to one of the world-leading research groups for quantum control of nanoscale systems. The network further  includes the Head of the Leeds QI group (Spiller), recognised for his quantum technology expertise and  industrial experience, a leading expert on quantum optics (Beige) and two recognised experts on quantum  processes and protocols at York (Busch, Weigert).

The three groups in this proposal have been strategically selected to have the necessary diversity and range  of skills to address the following question at both fundamental and practical levels: How to best turn  theoretical QI devices and concepts into new technologies and services? Achieving this goal requires a close  collaboration with experimental groups (at Sheffield and Leeds). The device focus of two of the proposed  projects links directly to these experimental activities. The QI process and protocol research will be based on  the expertise at all three network nodes, with focus provided from the industrial experience of Spiller at  Leeds, previously Head of QI research and commercialisation at Hewlett-Packard Laboratories.

Over the last years, much progress has been made towards demonstrating the feasibility of novel quantum  technologies and services. However, further strategic research is needed. Quantum communication devices  are already commercially viable but would benefit significantly from improved photon sources and new  protocols, to significantly increase the possible distance between sender and receiver, for example. In the  quantum processing arena, devices based on modest numbers of quantum bits, such as sensors and  simulators, require research to focus on their implementation and the degrading issue of decoherence.  Based on this, our device research is focused on quantum dots which provide one of the most  promising routes for quantum processors, quantum sensors and enhanced sources of photons. Our  proposed process and protocol research is focused on areas to support quantum communication and  quantum information processing.

Network Projects

Modelling single quantum dot experiments for applications in quantum metrology and quantum cryptography

Principal Supervisor – Almut Beige (Leeds)

Decoherence Mechanisms in Semiconductor Quantum Dots

Principal Supervisor – David M Whittaker (Sheffield)

Structural Aspects of Qudit Systems: Approximate Joint Measurements, Approximate Cloning and
Implications for the Security of Information Processing and Storage

Principal Supervisor – Paul Busch (York)