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QuiLT: Quantum element interposition by laser transfer

Photonic entanglement shows great promise in being able to simplify the complexity of systems, and significantly reduce the cost per device, associated with quantum processor development.  Entanglement is considered one of the most important features of quantum information science.  Meanwhile, a number of companies are currently involved in photonic quantum processors, but much further development is required for commercialisation.

QuILT seeks to replace the expensive quantum distributor (QD) growth process and associated, expensive site pre-patterning by realising the QD or quantum element placement.  The project’s solution will use laser-induced forward transfer (LIFT) of the selected semiconductor material, from a mechanically nano-positioned donor layer to the now simpler sites of a PIC or other photonic device, as it is being built on the silicon wafer substrate.  The resulting technology will enable the customisation of a vast number of electro-photonic devices with added quantum emission capability.

In delivering the project, the partners aim to prove that this new technique for quantum element interposition utilising laser transfer, will turn what is currently a complex and costly step in semiconductor fabrication into a more optimised, timely and cost-effective process.  This will be achieved by: 

  • Constructing an ultraviolet deposition chamber and developing process parameters for depositing chalcogenide quantum dots and nanoparticles onto precise positions of etched, waveguide structures on silicon wafers
  • Designing and creating masks for etching small waveguide and optical element features onto silicon oxide layers grown on silicon wafers
  • Assessing  the effectiveness of the deposition method and the localisation of quantum elements in reference to waveguide structures on the silicon die, and undertaking research on appropriate quantum entangled particle detection elements and electronics

The QuILT technology solution addresses the heart of the technical issues that complicate the construction of quantum devices, and make them very expensive for mass use and introduction to the wider industrial or even consumer market.   Devices can, therefore, be constructed in the miniature chip size that is used in the semiconductor and micro-electronics industry, and observe the cost models of microelectronics, hence allowing their integration into commercial appliances.

Partners: Micron Semiconductor Ltd (MSL), Powerlase Limited (PPL), and the Essex Innovaton Centre

QuiLT secured funding from Innovate UK through the ISCF Commercialising quantum technologies challenge: feasibility studies, round 3, competition.

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