Materials science research looks to improve quantum communications

2 mins read

Multiverse Computing, a quantum computing solutions provider, and Single Quantum, a specialist in superconducting nanowire single photon detectors, have announced an industrial materials science R&D project under a $1.4m contract with the German Aerospace Center’s DLR Quantum Computing Initiative (DLR QCI).

According to DLR, this work is expected to enable quantum applications that outperform classical methods in the short- to mid-term on quantum hardware currently under development.

The two companies won funding through a competitive bidding process to use quantum simulation to improve the transmission capabilities of superconducting nanowire single photon detectors that are essential for quantum communications devices and are more accurate than other types of photon detectors.

There are multiple additional use cases for single photon detectors ranging from quantum computing to deep-space communication and bio-imaging but DLR's exploration of these use cases aims to achieve quantum applications that outperform classical methods across transport, energy and security. 

Multiverse Computing and Single Quantum will use quantum simulation to improve the superconducting film that allows the hardware to detect photons. 

“Materials simulation is a huge research area where we know classical computing has significant limitations,” said Enrique Lizaso-Olmos, co-founder and CEO of Multiverse Computing. “Finding new methods to efficiently simulate materials using quantum computing has great potential, and it is a problem worth investing in the long term due to its high value.”

Multiverse’s quantum algorithm experts will work with hardware engineers at Single Quantum to create an algorithm specifically designed for the DLR QCI’s quantum computers. Single Quantum specialises in fast and highly sensitive light sensors based on a superconducting nanowire single photon architecture and it was among the first to manufacture and commercialise superconducting nanowire single photon detectors.

“Our technology combines unparalleled detection efficiency and time resolution to make our superconducting detectors a suitable choice for many use cases, including quantum communication and cryptography,” explained Andreas Fognini, Chief Technology Officer at Single Quantum. “We expect this work with Multiverse Computing and DLR to refine these capabilities even further.”

Other teams within the larger DLR QCI initiative will be able to use the knowledge from this project to simulate other materials or conduct additional quantum simulations, according to the researchers.

Launched in 2021, the objective of the DLR QCI is to develop and expand the agency’s quantum competencies and strengthen the quantum computing ecosystem. The Algorithms for Quantum Computer Development in Hardware-Software Codesign (ALQU) is one of many application projects within the DLR QCI. The materials science research led by Multiverse and Single Quantum will support two goals in the ALQU’s work: the efficient compilation of circuits on quantum hardware and the development of quantum algorithms for industrial use.

Winning this project strengthens Multiverse Computing’s position in the country’s quantum computing ecosystem and builds on its previous work with other major German companies, including Bosch, ZF, BASF and others.