ICS part of world’s first foundry for Quantum Photonic components

A UK consortium led by CSC (Compound Semiconductor Centre) is set to play a key role in a breakthrough project that will create the world’s first foundry for quantum photonic components (QPCs).


Integrated Compound Semiconductors (ICS) will lead in the design, manufacture and on-wafer testing of advanced single mode, polarisation stable VCSELs operating at the transition lines of caesium (Cs) and rubidium (Rb) are the preferred lasing devices for commercial grade atomic clocks and atomic magnetometers,


QFoundry is a £5.7 million project that is part-funded by the UK Quantum Technologies Challenge, led by UK Research and Innovation. The project is designed to utilise standard semiconductor techniques to upscale the manufacture of QPCs that are critical to quantum systems:

  • Vertical Cavity Surface Emitting Lasers (VCSELs) operating at the transition lines of caesium (Cs) and rubidium (Rb) are the preferred lasing devices for commercial grade atomic clocks and atomic magnetometers,

  • Single-photon emitters and detectors, such as Single Photon Avalanche Diodes (SPADs), Quantum Dot and Multiple Quantum Well platforms offer a pathway for high-volume applications, including quantum communications, computing, imaging and sensing.


Quantum technologies typically need highly customised quantum photonic components, with specific performance parameters suitable for quantum applications and the cost of each new prototype QPC is very high. The research and development needed to move from prototype devices to commercial semiconductor components typically costs several times that of prototyping-related activities and presents a significant barrier to commercialisation of quantum systems that rely on QPCs.


The consortium led by the Compound Semiconductor Centre (CSC) and comprising Amethyst Research, Bay Photonics, Compound Semiconductor Applications Catapult, CSconnected, Cardiff University, Integrated Compound Semiconductors (ICS), IQE, Microchip Technology Caldicot, National Physical Laboratory (NPL), Toshiba Europe, University of Cambridge and University of Sheffield will build on the regional excellence to deliver a national open-access quantum semiconductor device foundry and create the foundations for robust, scalable component manufacture in the UK to enable the scaling of a quantum technology system industry.

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