Our Research

Integrated Photonics

Integrated photonic structures enable complete miniaturization of free space optical components such as mirrors, beam splitters, detectors, amplitude and phase modulators which are necessary to control and measure quantum states of light - photons. We are currently working with Silicon Carbide on Insulator material platform to achieve complete packaging of photonic microchips for both quantum and classical technologies.

Quantum Sensing

Nanoscale image sensors and nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectrometers are important tools in the fields of medicine, materials science and physics. They are used to understand molecular structures and interactions as well as their dynamic properties. This enables the development of new materials, drugs or therapeutic strategies to combat various diseases. Unfortunately, these instruments are often bulky, non-scalable and very expensive. At the same time, the average NMR spectrometer has a rather low spatial resolution of a few millimeters, which limits its precision to diagnose diseases in their very early stages of development.

Our quantum sensing research is funded by the Q-SiCk project , with the goal to overcome the above mentioned challenges and provide scalable, low-cost imaging sensors and NMR spectrometers integrated on a single optical microchip. This is achieved thanks to the relatively inexpensive and industrially mature material of Silicon Carbide in which defects can be introduced by well established implantation techniques. The electronic spins of color centers can be manipulated which makes them are extremely sensitive to external magnetic fields that enables to obtain either a high-resolution NMR molecular spectrum or map the cell dynamics in space.

Z. Jiang, H. Cai, R. Cernansky, X. Liu and W. Gao, “Quantum sensing of radio-frequency signal with NV centers in SiC”, Science Advances, 9, 20, May 2023, DOI: https ://www.science.org/doi/10.1126/sciadv.adg2080

Quantum Communication

Single photon sources are at the most importance for various applications in quantum communication and computation. Most commonly used sources are based on non-linear optical processes such as spontaneous four wave mixing and parametric down-conversion. However, these methods are inherently propabilistic which makes them very hard to scale up. 

As a collaboration with the Institute for Quantum Technologies of the German Space Agency (DLR-QT) we are developing single photon sources based on artificial atoms in Silicon Carbide material. These act as a on-demand sources of photons that can be used for scalable quantum comunication applications.

Combining these sources and integrated photonics in Silicon Carbide material we aim to implement various on-chip quantum comunication protocols.

Quantum Computation

Quantum computers promise to change the way we process information. Specific algorithms enable faster computation and simulation of natural processes which occur in chemical, biological or semiconductor enviroments.

Information can be encoded into various physical degrees of freedom such as polarization of light or electronic spin state of an artificial atom. Moreover quantum information can be either discrete, continuous or a hybrid of both.

In our group we aim to harness different types of encoding schemes and degrees of freedom to develop integrated spin-light photonic components useful for scalable quantum computation.