News Article

Researchers Closer To Quantum Computing With New Optical Microchip


Creating an optical quantum computer with the potential to enhance computing power to engineer new drugs and optimise energy saving methods has taken a major step closer thanks to a Griffith University-led project. Associate Professor Mirko Lobino, an Australian Research Council Future Fellow from Griffith's Centre for Quantum Dynamics and Queensland Micro and Nanotechnolohy Centre, led this research recently published in Science Advances.

Prof Lobino worked in collaboration with the Australian National University and the University of New South Wales under the ARC Centre of Excellence for Quantum Computation and Communication Technology to investigate an optical microchip that has most of the basic functionality required for creating future quantum computers.

Dr Francesco Lenzini from the University of Munster, who is the lead author of the paper, said it was the first optical microchip to generate, manipulate and detect a particular state of light called squeezed vacuum, which is an essential resource for a certain protocol of quantum computation.

“This experiment is the first to integrate three of the basic steps needed for an optical quantum computer, which are the generation of quantum states of light, their manipulation in a fast and reconfigurable way, and their detection,” Dr Lenzini said.

Prof Elanor Huntington from ANU said: “what we have demonstrated with this device is an important technological step towards making an optical quantum computer”.

Prof Lobino said there were “already working towards the next generation of photonic microchips that will be more complex and have better performance, to take another step closer to a practical quantum computer”.

“Aside from being able to engineer new drugs and materials, and improve energy-saving methods, optical quantum computing will enable ultra-fast database searches and help solve difficult mathematical problems in many different fields,” he said.

The microchip, which is 1.5cm wide, 5cm long and 0.5mm thick, has components inside that's interact with light in different ways. These components are connected by tiny channels called waveguides that guide the light around the microchip, in a similar way that wires connect different parts of an electric circuit.

The first part generates a type of quantum light called a squeezed vacuum. There are two squeezed state generators on the chip, which are connected to the two inputs of a device known as a reconfigurable directional coupler, which can entangle the two squeezed states, with a controllable amount of entanglement.

To measure the entanglement generated in the microchip, both outputs of the directional coupler are guided to separate measurement components, known as homodyne detectors. The homodyne detectors allow measurement of the quantum light that prove entanglement.

Prof Lobino said the next step for the microchip needed to create future quantum computers was to develop ways to integrate of single photon detectors and other quantum state engineering functionality.

AngelTech Online Summit - Tuesday 19th May

The health and well-being of AngelTech speakers, partners, employees and the overall community is our top priority. Due to the growing concern around the coronavirus (COVID-19), and in alignment with the best practices laid out by the CDC, WHO and other relevant entities, AngelTech decided to postpone the live Brussels event to 16th - 18th November 2020.

In the interim, we believe it is still important to connect the community and we want to do this via an online summit, taking place live on Tuesday May 19th at 12:00 GMT and content available for 12 months on demand. This will not replace the live event (we believe live face to face interaction, learning and networking can never be fully replaced by a virtual summit), it will supplement the event, add value for key players and bring the community together – digitally.

The event will involve 4 breakout sessions for CS International, PIC International, Sensors International and PIC Pilot Lines.

Key elements of the online summit:

  • Covering key topics of the industries
  • Live 3 hour online summit
  • 10 minute presentations – learn from experts in the industry
  • Recorded product demos
  • Live audience questions
  • Enhanced discussion and audience interaction
  • Video panel sessions
  • Sponsors digital booth (intro video, company content, lead generator, facilitate one on one video meetings with attendees)
  • Live private video meetings between two or more attendees
  • After the live event, monthly keynotes to drive traffic to the event 24/7, 365

Innovation is in AngelTech’s DNA and we are leveraging this strength to bring you an immersive and inspiring online event without the risk of travel during this uncertain period.

Register to attend
Angel Tech Online Summit

Search the news archive

To close this popup you can press escape or click the close icon.
Register - Step 1

You may choose to subscribe to the PIC Magazine, the PIC Newsletter, or both. You may also request additional information if required, before submitting your application.

Please subscribe me to:


You chose the industry type of "Other"

Please enter the industry that you work in:
Please enter the industry that you work in: