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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/R044031/1
Title: ORQUID - ORganic QUantum Integrated Devices
Principal Investigator: Hinds, Professor EA
Other Investigators:
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Dr A S Clark
Project Partners:
Department: Dept of Physics
Organisation: Imperial College London
Scheme: Standard Research - NR1
Starts: 01 February 2018 Ends: 31 January 2021 Value (£): 323,145
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Communications Information Technologies
Related Grants:
Panel History:  
Summary on Grant Application Form
Our society relies on secure communication, powerful computers and precise sensors. Basic science has shown that huge improvements in these capabilities are possible if we can utilise many single quantum objects working in concert. We can then see how to store and process huge amounts of information in a fully secure way and how to make exquisitely sensitive measurements of fields and forces. Specific types of quanta - photons, electrons, phonons - already bring new specific functions, but to realise the full promise of quantum technologies, it will be necessary to interface these systems with each other in a way that is practical and scalable. This is the focus of our programme.

ORQUID will explore the exciting new possibility of using single organic molecules as the interface between these three quanta so that they can work together as required. First, single molecules will interact with light in waveguides and cavities to generate and detect single photons, providing immediate impact in quantum photonics. Second, single molecules will detect single moving charges in nano-electronic circuits to provide quantum coherent information exchange between these charges and the external world. Third, molecules embedded in nanomechanical devices and two-dimensional materials will measure nanoscale forces and displacements, which are key to developing mechanical quantum systems and understanding nano-machinery. By developing these three interfaces on a common platform, we will create a versatile hybrid system. By allowing the user to draw simultaneously on the most sensitive quantum aspects of light, charge and sound, we anticipate that this hybrid will be a major advance in the technology of quantum devices.

In the spirit of QuantERA, the ORQUID consortium will "explore collaborative advanced multidisciplinary science...with the potential to initiate or foster new lines of quantum technologies and help Europe grasp leadership early on in promising future technology areas." ORQUID aligns with a number of the target outcomes of QuantERA. (i) Quantum Communications. Our programme will deliver "Novel photonic sources for quantum information and quantum communication" - specifically a chip containing 8 molecules acting as fast sources of identical photons. We will also deliver "Coherent transduction of quantum states between different physical systems" by using molecules to convert quantum information from electrons to photons. Both these elements of ORQUID fall under the umbrella of "Integrated quantum photonics." (ii) Quantum Computing. Our photon sources will also contribute to "devices to realise multi-qubit algorithms", as will the use of single molecules to make a strong nonlinearity that can mediate a photon-photon interaction. (iii) Quantum Information Science. We will use molecules and quantum interference to demonstrate "Novel sources of non-classical states and methods to engineer such states." Finally, in (iv) Quantum Sensing, our use of molecules to sense displacement, fundamental forces, charge, and phase will fit well with the demands for "Development of detection schemes that are optimised with respect to extracting relevant information from physical systems" and "Implementation of micro- and nano- quantum sensors."
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Organisation Website: http://www.imperial.ac.uk