Quantum detection

Superconducting qubits

Developing practical quantum computers and simulators

The main strength of superconducting qubit technology is its scalability. It builds on many decades of experience in fabricating microelectronic circuits. However, further scale-up is hindered by relatively short coherence time of the qubits, despite a 1000x improvement over the 15 years, and system engineering issues. In order to meet these challenges we require reliable data, or metrology, to identify and eliminate the sources of decoherence in circuits, calibrate control lines, test and validate qubits, develop recognised standards.

At NPL, we are developing world-leading measurement methodologies, tools and techniques which support scale-up of quantum information processors. We are also using our facilities and expertise in this area to explore the use of novel materials such as highly disordered superconductors and topological insulators in quantum electrical standards.

Our research includes the:

  • Development of characterisation and verification protocols for solid-state quantum systems focused on the improvement in their coherence time. Examples of unique techniques are on-chip electron spin resonance (micro-ESR), ultra-stable frequency tracking noise detection and the scanning microwave nearfield microscope (NSMM).
  • Provision of test and validation services for the nascent quantum computing industry based on the above.
  • Development of sensors and future quantum standards based on superconducting qubits, quantum phase slip and topological insulators. Examples of such new sensors are the charge interferometer CQUID and the quantum power meter enabling calibration of the microwave feedlines of a quantum computer.

Work with us

Our research and measurement solutions support innovation and product development. We work with companies to deliver business advantage and commercial success.
Contact our Customer Services team on +44 20 8943 7070