Quantum Photonics

The Quantum Photonics (QP) Section investigates optical quantum phenomena at the single-/few-photon level, such as coherence, entanglement and squeezing, to develop novel methods of measurement, sensing, and imaging.

These advancements may result in significant improvement in the precision with which physical parameters of a wide range of systems can be estimated. The section also addresses the need for metrology and standards for quantum communication systems and the general traceability of photonic quantum metrology and sensing. These applications require the development of techniques that are robust to noise and imperfections, i.e., to fit to real-world scenarios.

The research is focused on:

  • Traceability of measurement at the single photon level
  • Development of new physical and documentary standards
  • Metrology for quantum communications (in fiber and space)
  • Quantum enhanced imaging
  • Quantum sensors (e.g. magnetism, pressure and temperature based on color centers, sensors based on squeezed and entangled light)

Projects related to Quantum Photonics

Case Studies

New instrument for photonics industry

Telecommunication systems mostly rely on ‘singlemode’ optical fibres that allow only one path or ‘mode’ for light to travel as it propagates through the fibre. However, in many important industrial applications, such as in avionics or the automotive industry, ‘multimode’ fibres are required. In multimode fibres light can follow many different path...

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Standards for quantum cryptography

Over the next decade or so, methods currently used to encrypt data may become ineffective in the face of advances in quantum computing, potentially leaving communication networks and services vulnerable to eavesdropping. Security could instead be assured by Quantum Key Distribution (QKD), a category of technologies that apply quantum theory, rather...

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Metrology for quantum communications

Resources are being invested globally in a race to develop practical quantum computing systems, driven by expected vastly superior problem-solving capabilities. When realised, quantum computers would have very different characteristics to ‘classical’ computers. This presents a foreseeable threat to Europe’s digital economy, as the security and pri...

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Future-proofing data security

Current encryption methods would be easily defeated by algorithms running on a working quantum computer. In such a security environment, commercial sectors such as banking, communications and data storage will demand new encryption tools to ensure valued data can remain ‘quantum-safe’ In theory, Quantum Key Distribution (QKD) protocols could guara...

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Advancing quantum communications

The secure exchange of keys used to encrypt and decrypt information is a weak spot in many cryptography systems. Quantum Key Distribution (QKD) uses single photons to share encryption keys between two parties, who are connected via an optical (fibre or free-space) channel. By measuring the photons’ properties, it’s possible to detect whether anyone...

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Building trust in quantum technologies

The ability to measure single photons of light is gaining importance in emerging research applications from space-earth communications with weak laser light sources, to event counting in biochemical microscopy important for tissue sample analysis, to silicon chip failure diagnostics using light emitted from transistors. All these potential applicat...

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