We now have the ability to build electronic devices at the nanoscale and operate them at millikelvin temperatures, and this has opened up the possibility to design, operate and utilise devices based on quantum physics. Quantum devices have been used in electrical metrology for decades and now nanoscale single-electron current sources are about to take their place in the realization of the ampere. A wider range of applications includes, e.g. cosmic background radiation detection, terahertz imaging for homeland security, and brain research. An active and important field of research is the development of quantum information processing and communication (QIPC) using quantum bits based on, e.g. superconducting devices and other cryoelectronic components. This new field may radically change the Information Technology landscape over the next decade.
In quantum device technology, the development of microwave photon detectors and sources at the single-photon level is a key issue. The development of any future superconducting quantum computing technology will necessarily depend on the availability of on-chip single-photon and few-photon microwave components, especially detectors. Furthermore, amplifier development for wireless communications and radiation metrology would greatly benefit from ultra-low-signal sources and ultra-sensitive detectors. There is also a urgent need for microwave photon detectors in characterising and minimising the background microwave radiation in cryogenic environments, in order to improve the performance of quantum devices. However, currently no detector can reliably resolve single microwave photon events. This has been a major limitation for research on QIPC based on cQED. Also, development of cryonanoelectronic devices needs ultrasensitive microwave sensors to tackle the problem of the detrimental effect by residual microwave photons.
The objectives of this project include, on the one hand, development of novel microwave detectors and sources on single-photon level, and, on the other hand, improvement in the performance of cryoelectronic quantum devices by understanding and eliminating the detrimental effects caused by microwave radiation:
The research within this EURAMET joint research project receives funding from the European Community's Seventh Framework Programme, ERA-NET Plus, under Grant Agreement No. 217257.
For more information, please contact the project coordinator, Dr Antti Manninen from MIKES
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