Technology Focus Quantum Technology

Quantum Technology

Our lives have been changed forever by data transmitted via fiber optics and lasers, GPS systems, and computers and smartphones with compact silicon technology. However, these forms of modern communication and the Internet would not be possible without the first generation of quantum technologies.

With further advances in quantum computers and the quantum internet, a next paradigm shift is imminent, where previously unused physical effects can be utilized for novel applications. Whereas collective particle phenomena were previously in the foreground, individual photons and quantum states can now be manipulated and controlled in a targeted manner.

In this field of research, Fraunhofer ILT is developing new technologies and devices that take advantage of fundamental quantum physical properties. To accomplish this, however, these devices have to fulfil strict requirements upon the precision, individuality as well as compactness of system components. At the same time, solutions are required that can later be implemented on an industrial scale.

Together with top German and international researchers, Fraunhofer ILT scientists are developing a broad portfolio of systems and processes for quantum technologies. In addition to lasers and fiber modules, these include parametric photon sources and frequency converters, integrated optical components and packaging technologies.

Laboratory prototype for a low-noise quantum frequency converter.
© Fraunhofer ILT, Aachen, Germany.
Laboratory prototype for a low-noise quantum frequency converter.

Since we cooperate closely with, among others, the chairs for Laser Technology LLT and for Technology of Optical Systems TOS as well as the Institute for Quantum Information at RWTH Aachen University, we can deepen our fundamental understanding of the underlying interaction effects, an understanding necessary to control of quantum states precisely. In addition, long-term collaborations exist with, among others, Forschungszentrum Jülich or the Dutch research center QuTech, a collaboration of TU Delft and the Netherlands Organisation for Applied Scientific Research (TNO).

Find out more about our range of services on the websites linked in the yellow box.

Selected Research Projects


Laser Generated Three Dimensional Photonic Components


Ion Quantum Processor with HPC Connection


Quantum computer with stored ions for applications


Highly integrated PIC-based ECDLs for quantum technology


Low-Noise Frequency Converters for the First Quantum Internet Demonstrator


Quantum Frequency Conversion of Photons Emitted by Spin Qubits to the Telecom Band


Quantum Methods for Advanced Imaging Solutions

Fraunhofer Cluster of Excellence Advanced Photon Sources CAPS

Photonic Quantum Technologies – Pioneering Impulses from the Rhenish Region

March, 2022

Kryostat des Quantencomputers am Forschungszentrum Jülich.
© Forschungszentrum Jülich / Sascha Kreklau.
Cryostat of the quantum computer at Forschungszentrum Jülich.
Laboratory prototype for a low-noise quantum frequency converter.
© Fraunhofer ILT, Aachen, Germany.
Laboratory prototype for a low-noise quantum frequency converter.

On March 7, 2022, leading universities and research institutions in the state of North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW) gave the starting signal for the competence network "EIN Quantum NRW," initiated by the state government of NRW. In this network, these universities and institutes are pooling their expertise in researching and implementing quantum technologies to help players from industry and science network more effectively, and to create a broad knowledge infrastructure. Also on board is the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft, which is focusing on technology transfer to industry.

Together with the Fraunhofer Institutes FHR, IAIS, IMS and SCAI located in NRW, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT and the Research Center Jülich are establishing a Center of Quantum Science and Engineering (CQSE) in the Rhineland region. The partners are thus spurring on the establishment of a high-growth innovation ecosystem for quantum technologies in NRW and forming a relevant pillar for practice-oriented research and development in Germany.

On an international level, the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft and the Dutch research center QuTech already joined forces in December 2021, signing a Memorandum of Understanding for a close and long-term cooperation in the field of quantum networks. In the run-up to this cooperation, Fraunhofer ILT and QuTech developed a quantum frequency converter with a world record for low noise – a decisive step toward realizing a stable quantum internet. This innovation enables the efficient transfer of quantum information through fiber optic lines already installed by telecommunications service providers: a prerequisite for the rapid networking of quantum computers at different locations. Using this as a basis, the Fraunhofer ILT in Aachen is planning to set up the first German quantum node in a transnational quantum network coordinated by QuTech, which includes the cities of Delft, Leiden, The Hague and Amsterdam.

Further Information: 

Getting the quantum internet off the ground - Close cooperation between Fraunhofer & QuTech

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The Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft and the Dutch research center QuTech unite in the fields of quantum communication and quantum information networks. The partners have now signed a memorandum of understanding and are working closely together on the development of the quantum internet as well as on knowledge transfer.

One goal is to develop a multinational quantum network in the EU. At a later stage, this is to be made available to industry and science in order to develop new products and applications and to exploit the full potential of distributed quantum computing. The partners are also planning to install the first German quantum node of a transnational quantum network at Fraunhofer ILT as stepping stone for an European approach to an entanglement-based quantum internet.

In the run-up to this cooperation, QuTech and the Fraunhofer ILT achieved a major break-thru towards realization of quantum networks – a quantum frequency converter currently setting a world record for low-noise and, in perspective, signal-to-noise performance.

Further information:

Fraunhofer Competence Network Quantum Computing

Illustration for a "neuron" in an artificial neural network in which data is processed.
© ktsdesign -
Illustration for a "neuron" in an artificial neural network in which data is processed.

In a pan-German competence network, several Fraunhofer Institutes, including Fraunhofer ILT, are driving forward the development of the key technology of quantum computing in Germany and developing new quantum technological solutions as well as computing strategies for applied, economically relevant issues. The experts also support companies in building up the necessary expertise.

-> Website of the Fraunhofer Competence Network Quantum Computing