Era of Quanta

The Institute of Physics of the Polish Academy of Sciences ends the year 2017 with another great success, confirming the Institute's prominent position on the European research map of advanced quantum technologies.

Four research groups of the Institute of Physics have qualified for participation in international research projects in this year's first QuantERA competition. It is a new European Union program ERA-NET, devoted to consolidating Europe's position in future promising areas of technology by developing basic and applied research for quantum computing. The Institute's scientists will participate in the leading research areas of quantum computing and quantum simulator technologies aimed at providing breakthrough scientific results and creating modern tools of quantum information engineering.

The scientific program of Quantera network will focus on advanced technologies that use specific quantum phenomena, such as: superposition of states, the use of cloning impossibility or entangled states to achieve new or dramatically improved functionalities.

The laboratories of the Institute of Physics will participate in four of the 26 QuantERA projects implemented in the European Research Space:
  • Professor Łukasz Cywiński and his group will participate in the project "Si QuBus - a long-range transmission belt for electronic spin qubits in silicon".
    The goal of the project is to create a new quantum computer architecture with electron spins trapped in silicon quantum dots. A new element of this architecture are long-range transmission belts - the chains of quantum dots along which coherent transfer of a single electron spin will be possible. Experimental demonstration of operation of such belts will solve one of the main problems inhibiting the development of quantum computers based on electrostatic defined quantum dots, which is coherent transfer of quantum information between separated quantum registers composed of several qubits.

    Professor Cywiński's team will model various sources of imperfections in the transfer and decoherence of mobile spins. These studies will be carried out in close cooperation with experimental groups from Germany, France, and the Netherlands.

  • The group of the Institute's researchers headed by Professor Bolesław Kozankiewicz, will participate in two projects within the QuantERA network:
    1. The "RouTe" project, which aims to create quantum technologies that can be used at room temperature. The research will focus on organic materials exhibiting quantum properties when they are resonantly coupled with electromagnetic field modes in the cavity or with plasmonic structures.

      The project will develop, among others: quantum simulators of many-body models of networks and topological states of matter with polaritons; light-matter coupling for quantum communication, and information storage; enhancement of chemical reactivity using strong coupling of organic materials with photonic modes.

      The project has an interdisciplinary character combining the results of researchers from: Finland, France, Spain, Germany, Poland and Switzerland, experts from quantum optics, solid state physics, chemistry and organic materials physics.

    2. The second project carried out in the team of professor Kozankiewicz, "ORQUID", will investigate the possibility to design a detector of photons, electrons, and phonons using single organic molecules.

      These molecules will interact with light in optic fibers and resonance cavities generating photons. They will also detect single charges in nanometer scale electronic circuits enabling coherent quantum information exchange. Thirdly, the molecules built into the nano-mechanical devices will be able to measure forces and deformations in the new generation of nanoscale machines. Achieving these goals will allow integration of the obtained functionalities into hybrid quantum systems. The ORQUID project consortium includes groups of researchers from France, Spain, the Netherlands, Germany, Poland, Great Britain, and Italy.

  • Professor Michał Matuszewski, together with his colleagues, will participate in the research of the "InterPol" project, which aims to implement at laboratory conditions the exciton-polariton network, as a semiconductor platform for quantum simulations.

    The main goal of the project is to achieve a strong quantum correlation regime in which the interactions of individual polaritons prevail over decoherence associated with photon losses, enabling creation of simple quantum simulators. The project may play a significant role in the development of more accessible, room temperature quantum technologies. It will also contribute to better understanding of non-equilibrium physics at the nanoscale. The project involves also laboratories from France, Israel, Germany, and Great Britain.

The planned budget of the QuantERA project is approximately EUR 37 million, of which about EUR 25.5 million is to come from funding of national research organizations of participating Member States. The additional EUR 11.5 million will be granted from the EU Commission’s budget.

The visionary predictions of Richard P. Feynman, David Deutsch and many others of quantum simulation of physics and quantum calculations were formulated several decades ago but only recently become possible to realize. QuantERA is one of many projects carried out in the world which aim at achieving these targets. The goals of the project, the funds envisaged for their implementation, and the quality of the great scientific teams that have undertaken this task allow us to believe that these predictions will become reality in the 21st century.