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NPL and Maury Microwave partner to advance cryogenic measurement capabilities for quantum computing

4 minute read time

NPL and Maury Microwave, a manufacturer of precision RF and microwave calibration standards, announce new partnership. The collaboration aims to advance cryogenic measurement capabilities for quantum computing, addressing the critical need for reliable microwave technologies operating at extremely low temperatures.

Practical quantum computing systems require microwave components that can operate seamlessly at cryogenic temperatures down to tens of milli-kelvin (mK). Quantum operations rely on a network of microwave components operating at various cryogenic temperatures, demanding optimal performance of both classical and quantum microwave devices. To meet this challenge, Maury Microwave and NPL have joined forces through the UK’s National Quantum Technologies programme. NPL, with its focus on developing new measurement capabilities, has taken on the task of addressing microwave test and measurement challenges in quantum computing. The collaboration includes the characterization of various devices at cryogenic temperatures by analyzing their scattering (S-) parameters. NPL has developed specialized cryogenic calibration techniques using calibration standards and phase-matched cables provided by Maury Microwave. These techniques enable the precise de-embedding of effects from the test setup, ensuring accurate characterization of the devices.

Prof. Nick Ridler, NPL Fellow and Department Head of Science, stated, "These capabilities are developed with the aim to support industry and academia to create new and improved products for quantum computing." Dr. Manoj Stanley, a Senior Scientist at NPL, stated, "We utilized our decades of expertise in microwave metrology to characterize the performance of these standards and cables at cryogenic temperatures and evaluated their suitability at temperatures down to tens of mK. Maury Microwave is one of the leading manufacturers of precision RF and microwave calibration standards and RF coaxial test cables and has a long track record in this field. It has been a fantastic collaboration with the team at Maury Microwave, and we hope that the outputs benefit the global quantum community."

“The collaboration between Maury Microwave and the National Physical Laboratory (NPL) marks a significant step forward in advancing cryogenic measurement capabilities, contributing to the progress of quantum computing technologies,” remarked Dr. Jonas Urbonas, Director of Engineering at Maury Microwave. “The outcomes of this collaboration are expected to have a lasting impact on the development of quantum computing systems worldwide.”

A selection of NPL’s work on calibration and measurements at cryogenic temperatures leveraging Maury Microwave’s calibration standards and cable assemblies include:

  1. S. -H. Shin, M. Stanley, J. Skinner, S. E. de Graaf and N. M. Ridler, "Broadband Coaxial SParameter Measurements for Cryogenic Quantum Technologies," IEEE Trans. Microw. Theory Tech., doi: 10.1109/TMTT.2023.3322909. (Early Access) --
  2. M. Stanley, S.-H. Shin, J. Skinner, J. Urbonas, and N. Ridler, “Characterising Scattering Parameters of Coaxial Microwave Devices at Milli-kelvin Temperatures for Quantum Computing Technologies,” Proc. Eur. Microw. Conf. (EuMC), Berlin, Germany, 2023, pp. 150–153. --
  3. J. Skinner, M. Stanley, J. Urbonas, S. de Graaf, T. Lindström, and N. Ridler, “Characterizing Precision Coaxial Air Lines as Reference Standards for Cryogenic S-parameter Measurements at Milli-kelvin Temperatures,” IEEE MTT-S Int. Microw. Symp. Dig., San Diego, CA, USA, 2023, pp. 561–564 --
  4. M. Stanley, M. Salter, J. Urbonas, J. Skinner, S. Shin, S. E. de Graaf. and N. M. Ridler, “Characterizing S-Parameters of Microwave Coaxial Devices with up to Four Ports at Temperatures of 3 K and Above for Quantum Computing Applications”, IEEE Trans. Instrum. Meas., Accepted for publication.

Find out more about our work in Quantum

15 Feb 2024