Sign up for NPL updates
Sign up for NPL updates

Receive regular emails from NPL to get a glimpse of our activities and see how our experts are informing and influencing scientific debate

NPL’s quantum capabilities for industry

Transmission loss testing for quantum interconnects

Analysis of quantum grade fibre interconnects

Building a robust quantum network requires overcoming significant challenges, one of which is ensuring efficient transmission of entangled photons over long distances. To tackle this hurdle, the National Physical Laboratory (NPL) has developed a novel technique to analyse the performance of next-generation optical fibre interconnects specifically designed for quantum communication.  

Unlocking optimal performance  

The performance of a quantum network relies heavily on high-quality, ultra-low-loss connections between its optical components. NPL's innovative approach focuses on measuring a crucial parameter called Mode Field Diameter (MFD) with exceptional precision on commercial quantum-grade connectors. Knowledge of this key parameter can help to reduce the coupling losses, which is necessary for efficient propagation of entangled photons within the fibres, minimising signal degradation and maximising transmission efficiency. 

Transforming our future 

A successful quantum internet opens doors to a range of transformative applications:  

  • Ultra-secure communications: imagine unbreakable encryption for financial transactions, confidential government data, and more.  
  • Distributed quantum computing: harness the collective power of multiple quantum computers to tackle complex challenges in science, medicine, and beyond.  
  • Advanced high-performance computing: revolutionise research, weather forecasting, and financial modelling with unprecedented computational power.  
  • Enhanced 5G infrastructure: integrate secure, high-speed data transfer into smart cities and automated manufacturing facilities through 5G networks.  

NPLs metrology for MFD is traceable to various SI units. It supports a UK mission to deploy the world’s most advanced quantum network at scale, pioneering the future quantum internet by 2035. 

Beyond quantum interconnects

NPL's commitment extends beyond this breakthrough. NPL can support those with an ambition to:  

  • analyse other commercial quantum-grade ultra-low-loss cables: expanding their research to encompass a wider range of fibre configurations 

  • adapt systems for dedicated interconnects: tailoring their measurement techniques to suit various specialised connectors within the quantum network 
  • collaborate for global standards: partnering with government and industry players to establish international quantum standards. 

NPL's innovative testing service is of interest to anyone aiming to maximise network efficiencies in emerging quantum networks, from cybersecurity experts to engineers building smart cities. By investing in early-stage disruptive technologies like this, NPL is helping unlock the incredible possibilities of the quantum future.  

Would you like to speak to our quantum team?

Contact our quantum team