Photonic quantum computer to become reality

 |  ResearchOptoelectronics and PhotonicsQuantum ComputationPress releaseFaculty of ScienceDepartment of Physics

More than 10 million euros in EU funding for large-scale research project

Scientists at Paderborn University want to develop a photonic quantum computer with international partners by the end of 2026. The project with the evocative title "EPIQUE" (European Photonic Quantum Computer) is currently one of the most ambitious research projects in the field of German and European quantum research. The European Commission is supporting the consortium, an association of 18 international partners known for their outstanding achievements in the field of quantum technologies, with funding totalling around 10.3 million euros. The project was launched on 1 January.

Photonics: scalability as a prerequisite for controlling applications with light

At EPIQUE, experts are working on the development of a photonic quantum computer platform - light-based hardware for the realisation of a quantum computer, so to speak. The basis for this is photonics: the targeted use and manipulation of light or photons. These are small particles of light that make up electromagnetic radiation. Photonic devices offer several advantages: e.g. low decoherence, i.e. hardly any loss of quantum properties, and natural connectivity for distributed quantum computing.

"However, previous achievements have often been limited by non-scalable devices," explains Prof Dr Christine Silberhorn, physicist and spokesperson for the Institute for Photonic Quantum Systems (PhoQS) at Paderborn University. The Paderborn scientists have been working for some time on developing scalable methods for controlling quantum systems for the next generation of computers. These make it possible to precisely control sources for individual photons and interconnections of several light particles using ultrafast electronics. Scalability is one of the basic requirements for quantum computers.

Realisation of a universal quantum computing platform

The consortium aims to capitalise on Europe's leading role in integrated optical quantum computing platforms. Experts from academia and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are working together with the aim of achieving the technological breakthroughs required to realise a universal quantum computing platform, i.e. a platform for a fully programmable quantum computer. One focus is on the area of nanofabrication, which is intended to produce new types of fast and low-loss switching processes, improved quantum light sources and detectors, new interface options and directly writable modular chips.

"EU flagship"

The consortium leader is Sapienza University in Rome. Scientists from Paderborn University's "Integrated Quantum Optics" working group are involved in the project. The project is part of the EU Quantum Flagship Programme, which was launched in 2018 as one of the European Union's largest and most ambitious research initiatives. With a budget of at least one billion euros and a duration of ten years, it brings together research institutions, universities, industry, companies and political decision-makers in a joint initiative.

Further information on the project can be found at:

Further information on quantum research at Paderborn University can be found on our topic page.

This text has been translated automatically.

Symbolic image (Paderborn University, Besim Mazhiqi).