Quantum Computing Hardware

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Quantum computers are vastly faster than classical computers and enable highly complex calculations or secure encryption methods. They offer users the opportunity to expand information technology by making completely new processes possible.

At Fraunhofer ILT, laser-based processes – including micro and nano structuring with ultrafast lasers or selective laser-induced etching (SLE) – are used to create structures and component groups that can be used in the field of quantum computing. Microscopically dimensioned, waveguiding structures allow, for example, communication between qubits – the computational units of quantum computers – with single photons. Important research aspects here include improving the waveguiding properties of devices and directed photon emission from qubits. 

In the development of quantum frequency converters PPLN waveguides (periodically poled lithium niobate) are used, for example.
© Fraunhofer ILT, Aachen, Germany.
In the development of quantum frequency converters PPLN waveguides (periodically poled lithium niobate) are used, for example.
Infrared light in a laser-induced waveguide.
© Fraunhofer ILT, Aachen, Germany.
Infrared light in a laser-induced waveguide.
Optical parametric oscillator setup as conceptual study of a low-noise quantum frequency converter.
© Fraunhofer ILT, Aachen, Germany.
Optical parametric oscillator setup as conceptual study of a low-noise quantum frequency converter.

To couple different qubit systems over long distances, quantum frequency converters (QFC) are needed to convert single photons from an output wavelength to a target wavelength while preserving their quantum states.

Fraunhofer ILT is developing efficient and low-noise quantum frequency converters (QFC) for the connection of qubits to optical fibers. In this area, the institute is cooperating closely with the QuTech research center and collaborating with the Delft University of Technology and the Dutch Organization for Applied Scientific Research TNO. The qubits used include NV centers in diamond, which emit photons at a wavelength of 637 nm. The targeted wavelengths for low-loss transmission via optical fibers are between 1500 and 1600 nm. Special QFC components are crucial for demonstrating the first quantum internet, for which QuTech scientists will connect qubits in Delft, Leiden, The Hague and Amsterdam into a common system using optical fibers.

The long-term goal is to create architectures in which fault-tolerant quantum computers can be built in a modular fashion and photonically coupled. 

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

Fraunhofer Cluster of Excellence Advanced Photon Sources CAPS



Video / December 14, 2021

Fraunhofer and QuTech unite to champion quantum internet

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.


Video / March 4, 2021

The Next Generation of High-Power Ultrafast Lasers

In the Fraunhofer Cluster of Excellence Advanced Photon Sources CAPS, 13 Fraunhofer Institutes bundle their expertise for the development of laser systems that achieve highest performance with ultrafast laser pulses and explore their application potential.


Video / April 26, 2019

Quantum Technology at Fraunhofer ILT

In the field of quantum technology, we are at the beginning of the technical realization of so far unexploited effects that enable novel applications. The Fraunhofer ILT scientists are developing, among other things, photon sources, photonic components and systems for future applications of quantum technology.


Laser technology can solve demanding tasks in many different industries. Whether as a tool in automotive production, as measuring equipment in the environmental sector, as a diagnostic or therapeutic instrument in medical technology or as a communication medium in space technology, the laser provides multiple uses with high productivity and high efficiency.

Read up about the innovations of the Fraunhofer ILT in a few selected industries and convince yourself!


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