Ultra-fast and microscopically small quantum systems, such as computers and sensors, are the focus of TNO’s relatively new research area of quantum technology. To use the unique properties of quantum mechanics for practical applications, we support the emerging industry with the design, development and manufacture of quantum sensors, quantum devices and complete systems.
Today’s computers and sensors are not only much faster than ever before, but also much smaller. Despite this continuous development, the principle has always remained the same: a bit has a value of 0 or 1. Quantum technology works differently. Because the laws of nature at the microscopic level are different to those at the macroscopic level, an electric current, for instance, can move both clockwise and anticlockwise. The quantum bit or qubit does not have the value 0 or 1, but rather 0 and 1.
Processing a qubit with a simultaneous value of 0 and 1 results in the processing of both the 0 and the 1. While this is already a modest advantage, the advantage increases exponentially when applied to multiple qubits. A quantum computer uses this principle. Because it can perform the same calculations on a very large amount of data in one go, a quantum computer is much faster than a conventional computer.
A properly functioning quantum computer will contribute significantly to scientific research, enabling us to analyse gigantic amounts of data and determine patterns and connections. Furthermore, we can run highly detailed simulations to test and refine theories. The potential benefits of this may extend to the rest of society, such as the entertainment industry.
For us to actually be able to use quantum physical properties for practical applications, the manufacture of quantum devices must be almost perfect. TNO can help with the development of workflows for prototypes of ‘perfect’ quantum devices. Additionally, we develop new equipment or adapt existing nanofabrication equipment to make quantum devices.
Within the services we provide, we use a variety of nanofabrication instruments and the extensive experience we have with these to manufacture nanodevices and quantum devices for industrial applications. Through the QuTech partnership, we also work closely with companies involved in quantum computing and communication. Moreover, we are working on the further development of specific quantum devices for the semiconductor industry.
Even if a quantum device is perfectly manufactured, measurements and control systems remain crucial in order to use quantum physical properties without error. This requires real-time measurement of variables, which can be used to initialise and stabilise the quantum devices and to optimise their functionality. We provide this through:
We are unique in this area because we combine various relevant fields of expertise at a high technological level, such as RF technology, big data analysis and optics. We currently offer this expertise to facilitate the development of computer and communication systems for the information & telecommunications, semiconductor and aerospace & defence sectors.
Within the QuTech partnership we focus on new possibilities together with TU Delft and industrial partners, such as quantum computing and quantum internet. To support the first steps and explore the opportunities, we developed the computer platform Quantum Inspire.
Would you like to know more about this? Would you like to contribute to bringing quantum technology to a higher level of technological readiness, or do you see possible applications for your company? Please [Contact] us directly.