EMPIR project contributes to European Metrology Network for Quantum Technologies

Figure: a) A calculated back focal plane image with θ=70°, ϕ=345° and z0 = 60nm. b) A measured back focal plane image of an NV-center. From J. Christinck et al., Appl. Phys. B 126, 161 (2020). Copyright PTB, published with kind permission of PTB

Improving sources of single photons to accelerate quantum technology innovation

The project

European Metrology Programme for Innovation and Research (EMPIR) project Single-photon sources as new quantum standards (17FUN06, SIQUST) is working to carry out the fundamental work needed to develop a new quantum standard, assessing and establishing new materials and designs for single-photon sources. By providing access to better single-photon sources, this project will catalyse future innovation in the field of optical quantum technology, and could also contribute towards the photon based realisation of the luminous intensity International System of Units (SI) base unit, the candela.


Technologies based on the laws of quantum mechanics are the next stage of industrial and scientific innovation. With far-reaching applications, from super-fast computers and ultra-secure communication to sensitive sensors for biomedical imaging, they will help to provide solutions to many of today’s global challenges. A fundamental building block of optical quantum technologies are light sources that can emit single photons. However, despite large steps forward, current single-photon sources are only beginning to be of real, practical use.

Papers published

25 peer-reviewed, open access scientific papers have been published, including:

The full list of papers can be found on the project website.

Other project highlights so far

  • 113 conference presentations and posters
  • 3 press releases
  • 5 training courses within the consortium which have transferred knowledge between project partners. Training course topics included (i) single-photon sources based on quantum dots at 1550 nm (ii) single-photon sources based on quantum dots at 930 nm (iii) single-photon sources based on single molecules (iv) the installation of the portable single-photon source and (v) nitrogen-vacancy-assisted magnetic/electric field sensing.
  • 3 training courses to the external scientific community on (i) single-photon sources based on defects in solid state (ii) optical quantum metrology sensing and imaging in general and (iii) quantum encryption.

European Metrology Network for Quantum Technologies

The European Metrology Network for Quantum Technologies (EMN-Q) brings together expertise in the field of quantum technologies, including that held by the consortium of this EMPIR project. It provides active coordination of European measurement science research to maintain competitiveness in the field of quantum technologies.

By promoting and facilitating knowledge sharing, collaboration and the uptake of measurement science in the development of quantum technology, the EMN will establish globally accepted measurement services for quantum technologies and devices.

Project coordinator Stefan Kueck from PTB said

‘The SIQUST project significantly accelerates the development of single-photon sources for their use in quantum metrology. The soon to start EMPIR project SEQUME (Single- and entangled photon sources for quantum metrology) will further progress in this direction. Single-photon sources will become important devices for the future development of quantum technology, the EMN-Q will be essential to establish measurement services and standards based on these sources’.

This EMPIR project is co-funded by the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme and the EMPIR Participating States.

Want to hear more about EURAMET?
Sign up for EURAMET newsletters and other information
Follow us on LinkedIn and Twitter

Select your area of interest
Achievements in metrology for increased efficiency of high voltage power grids

EMPIR project continues dissemination activities, including the revision of the IEC 60060-1 and IEC 60060-2 standards more

EMPIR project contributes to more accurate observations of ocean acidification

Carbon dioxide, released from man-made activities, is lowering the pH of the Earth’s oceans, and impacting the health of marine organisms worldwide more

Partnership project helps improve the thermal comfort of public buildings in Rwanda and South Africa

Working with external project Cool White to test and suggest improvements on the locally available white paints more

EMPIR project establishes new calibration capabilities and guide for Ultra-high voltage measurements

The project FutureEnergy has provided new calibration services for ultra-high voltages and a good practice guide on Lightning Impulse dividers more

Page 1 of 226.