Advanced Quantum Science and Technologies

Catalyst 3

Catalyst 3: Advanced Quantum Science and Technologies

Catalyst Director: Professor John Saunders 


The challenge responded to by the catalyst

  • We are in the midst of the so-called second quantum revolution in which devices whose operation is based on quantum rules are set to revolutionize information processing and sensing capabilities. How do we further this revolution?
  • Nationally, Quantum Technology is recognised to have a key future role in high-tech driven economic recovery; how can we drive our science and innovation towards practical, efficient implementation and economic use?
  • Quantum computers pose a major threat to our traditional security systems. How can we defend against this, and how can quantum technology aid future security?

Our research will pursue this challenge in a number of thrusts:

  • Key contributions to the national development of a quantum computer, based on superconducting qubits.
  • Materials science to make a step-change improvement to coherence in superconducting qubits, to go beyond the NISQ paradigm.
  • The development of novel quantum devices for sensing and metrology.
  • Practical and efficient use of quantum computers and devices, dealing with noise and operational constraints; providing APIs, and compilers.
  • Development of new algorithms and functions, and the mapping of legacy algorithms and functions, onto quantum computers
  • Materials science/devices for topological quantum computing, and spin-based quantum technologies.
  • Materials Discovery and Theory of Quantum Materials.
  • Quantum Technology for Fundamental Physics.
  • Training relevant to Quantum Technology, including up-skilling workforce.
  • Post-quantum cryptography; including international algorithm standardisation.
  • Quantum resource estimation: real world performance of quantum computers, algorithms and applications.
  • Quantum key distribution: experimentation and evaluation of practical key distribution via quantum mechanics; with inherent eavesdropping detection.

This global challenge is a high funding priority for government agencies worldwide. Nationally it figures strongly in the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) allocations of the R&D budge. The National Quantum Computing Centre (NQCC) was established in 2019. Globally research in this area is attracting significant investment from the private sector. The proposed catalyst area at Royal Holloway is founded on a constellation of technical expertise and capability in the School of EPMS, with strong international reputation and funding track record. Royal Holloway hosts key research infrastructure in Quantum Technology. The National UK Centre for Superconducting and Hybrid Quantum Systems (SuperFab) is the foundry for superconducting quantum devices. The London Low Temperature Laboratory is part of a European Advanced Infrastructure (European Microkelvin Platform), the central mission of which is research on quantum materials and quantum technology. Royal Holloway also has leadership in post-quantum cryptography.

This activity is already well integrated in the national ecosystem through key relationships with the National Physical Laboratory in Teddington and membership of the Oxford EPSRC Hub in Quantum Computing and Simulation. The catalyst will also establish a local ecosystem, which can respond effectively and synergistically in an evolving landscape, developing and extending national and international research partnerships and industry partnerships. This research has strong foundation in Physics, and crosses all disciplines within EPMS (Electronic Engineering, Information Security, Mathematics and Computer Science). The Engineering Research Centre will facilitate transitioning fundamental quantum science into technology.