Wales launches foundry for quantum photonic components

December 01, 2020 // By Peter Clarke
Wales launches foundry for quantum photonic components
The Compound Semiconductor Centre based in Cardiff, Wales, has created QuantumFoundry (QFoundry) as a source of quantum photonic components.

Components and sensors based on quantum phenomena are set to have an impact in areas ranging from secure communications to imaging and healthcare diagnostics.

Companies and laboratories are coming together to form QFoundry in a three-year, £5.7 million project that is part-funded by the UK government. The project will use standard semiconductor techniques to enable the manufacture of quantum components.

The initial areas of focus include Vertical Cavity Surface Emitting Lasers (VCSELs) and single-photon emitters and detectors. The VCSELs are for potential use in atomic clocks and atomic magnetometers, while single-photon devices are used in quantum communications, computing, imaging and sensing applications.

The consortium led by the Compound Semiconductor Centre (CSC) comprises: Amethyst Research, Bay Photonics, Compound Semiconductor Applications Catapult, CSconnected Ltd., Cardiff University, Integrated Compound Semiconductors (ICS), IQE, Microchip Technology, The National Physical Laboratory (NPL), Toshiba Europe, The National Epitaxy Facility, and the universities of Cambridge and Sheffield. They plan to deliver a national open-access quantum semiconductor device foundry.

"QFoundry can perhaps be described as the missing piece in pathway to commercialisation, and the project will lay the groundwork towards a new UK quantum component industry," said Wyn Meredith, Director of Compound Semiconductor Centre, in a statement.

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