Quantum Sources

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While previous quantum technologies were mostly focused on collective particle phenomena, today technologies are being developed and optimized with which single photons and quantum states can be specifically generated, manipulated and used for applications.

Fraunhofer ILT is developing single and paired photon sources with high signal-to-noise ratios that, among other things, can be used with previously unused wavelengths in quantum imaging. In addition, the institute is also focusing on adapted laser beam sources to produce quantum system components or to excite and switch processes at the atomic level in quantum computing.

Illustration for the superposition of single waves, which can visualize the probability density for the position of a particle, for example.
© agsandrew - stock.adobe.com
Illustration for the superposition of single waves, which can visualize the probability density for the position of a particle, for example.
Optical components in a nonlinear interferometer for quantum imaging.
© Fraunhofer ILT, Aachen, Germany / Volker Lannert.
Optical components in a nonlinear interferometer for quantum imaging.
Photon pair source for quantum imaging.
© Fraunhofer ILT, Aachen, Germany / Volker Lannert.
Photon pair source for quantum imaging.

For quantum imaging applications, Fraunhofer ILT develops parametric photon sources in the MIR range, for example. Among other things, it uses periodically poled crystals pumped with semiconductor disk lasers to generate measurement wavelengths in the range of a few micrometers and additionally easily detectable signal wavelengths. These photon sources can be used in interferometers as imaging systems. In addition to the sources themselves, the institute is developing methods for image acquisition with optimized imaging quality, methods that can expand imaging in biology, semiconductors or metrology, for example. In addition, they open up completely new possibilities in medical technology, among other areas, thanks to the low intensities used.

In the Fraunhofer Cluster of Excellence Advanced Photon Sources CAPS, Fraunhofer ILT is working on high-performance ultrafast lasers for producing components for quantum technologies 2.0. By means of ultrafast laser pulses, for example, nitrogen vacancy centers (NV centers) can be generated in the lattice structure of diamond crystals and then used to measure magnetic fields with particularly high sensitivity in the field of quantum sensors. In addition, NV centers generated in this way are also potentially suitable as qubits for solid-state-based quantum computers.

The institute is also conducting research in simulation – here, modeled physical processes in semiconductor structures are transferred to the field of quantum technology applications in order to better understand and use semiconductor spin qubits in the future, for example.

Selected Research Projects

Fraunhofer Cluster of Excellence Advanced Photon Sources CAPS

Fraunhofer Lighthouse Project »QUILT«

Quantum Methods for Advanced Imaging Solutions

Videos

 

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.

Branches

Laser technology contributes to the digitisation in various industries. Whether as a material processing tool in automotive manufacturing, as a measuring device in the environmental sector, as a diagnostic or therapeutic instrument in medical technology or as a communication medium in space technology, the laser offers multiple application possibilities with high productivity and high efficiency.

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