Industry News

The hub will receive £28m from the UKRI’s Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) to allow it to continue its research, build on existing relationships with industry, and develop new partnerships over the next five years. QuantIC brings together the Universities of Glasgow, Bristol, Edinburgh, Heriot-Watt and Strathclyde and will also include Exeter, Imperial College London and Southampton in the next phase of activities alongside industrial partners from across the UK. The funding for the second phase of QuantIC’s operations is part of £94m announced today by Science Minister Chris Skidmore in support of the National Quantum Technologies Programme.

QuantIC Phase 2

Since it was established in 2014 as one of four quantum hubs supported by £270m in funding from the UK Government, QuantIC has pioneered new ways to make ‘the invisible visible’ using quantum technologies. Across the consortium, the hub’s major research successes to date include the development of QuantiCAM, a digital camera which captures photons 10,000 times faster than conventional cameras, and cameras capable of novel imaging feats including looking around corners and seeing clearly through smoke. Wee-g, a portable gravity imager capable of measuring ‘earth tides’subtle changes in the earth around us has also attracted significant industrial interest for use in space, civil engineering and environmental monitoring.

Over the next five years, QuantIC will continue to develop revolutionary imaging systems that shift the way imaging occurs, such as the ability to see directly inside the human body, the ability to see through fog and smoke, to make microscopes with higher resolution and lower noise than classical physics allows, and quantum radars that cannot be jammed or confused by other radars around them.
These developments will be enabled by new technologies, such as single-photon cameras, detectors based on new materials and single-photon sensitivity in the mid-infrared spectral regions. Combined with new computational methods, QuantIC will enable UK industry to lead the global imaging revolution.

Professor Steve Beaumont, director of QuantIC said: “We’re pleased to have the support of EPSRC for our second phase of work at QuantIC. We’ve had an enormously successful first five years, making significant technological breakthroughs and forging 39 project partnerships with industry across the UK. We’ve also worked hard to encourage the next generation of pioneering quantum engineers, investing more than half a million pounds in 12 industry-led studentships.”

Professor Miles Padgett, QuantIC’s principal investigator, said: “When QuantIC started up in 2014, we had 30 industry partners. Today, we actively engage with more than 70 companies, an expansion of our user network which we’re immensely proud of. “It shows that there is huge commercial potential for the kind of quantum-enhanced technologies we’re working on. We’re delighted that we’ve received the funding we need to continue helping the UK keep its place on the world stage in cutting-edge research and development.”

The hub was at the world’s leading trade fair for photonics which took place in Munich from 24-27 June and showcased a number of new research technologies as well industrial partnership projects to highlight how joint academic-industry collaboration was leading to commercialisation of new imaging technologies. Exhibits included an automated 3D video surveillance using LED sources with Aralia Systems, a new form of “intelligent” LiDAR with ID Quantique, fresnel cone technology and a new wide field fluorescence imaging camera for microscopy with Horiba which is close to market launch.

Laser Munich 2019

Laurence Broadbent, Senior Development Engineer, who had been invited to exhibit Aralia Systems’ joint partnership resource project with QuantIC said, “We have made a few very useful contacts for the supply chain of the product we are developing, so that has been useful. Interestingly we also met another contact that may be a lead to a product that we are developing outside of the QuantIC project.” QuantIC researcher Dr Neal Radwell who was on the stand demonstrating his fresnel cone technology said, “The event was worthwhile for me, moreso for the interactions I had away from our stand. I have made contacts for manufacturing new devices, which are needed for our current project as well as contacts which might give me ideas for future projects.”

QuantIC also hosted a whisky tasting reception with Photonics Scotland on the stand on 26 June evening, which proved to be a very successful and had some visitors coming back the next day to have more detailed conversations with hub researchers. Laser World of Photonics 2019 saw a record 34,000 visitors which was up from the 32,700 visitors in 2017. There was also an increase in the number of exhibitors, which totalled 1,325 this year.

With a view to increasing its international profile in the next phase of the UK National Quantum Technologies Programme, QuantIC looks set to be at the next Laser World of Photonics in June 2021.

Professor Robert Hadfield

Robert Hadfield, Professor of Photonics at the University of Glasgow, and QuantIC Co-investigator, has been named as the recipient of the Institute of Physics’ James Joule Medal for distinguished contributions to Applied Physics. The award, named in honour of the English physicist and mathematician, has been presented since 2008 to researchers who have made significant advances in applied physics.

Professor Hadfield is a leading expert in detection of single photons – individual quanta of light – using advanced superconducting detectors. The ability to detect single photons at infrared wavelengths underpins a host of emerging imaging and sensing applications in the quantum technology arena, from secure communications to laser cancer treatment and lies at the heart of QuantIC’s mission of ‘making the invisible visible’.

Working with STFC Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, Robert delivered a major demonstrator for QuantIC: a miniaturized 4 Kelvin cooler with integrated superconducting single-photon detectors and is now using the state-of-the art facilities of the James Watt Nanofabrication Centre at the University of Glasgow to scale up these devices from single pixels to photon counting cameras. On receiving the award, he said, “I’m delighted to receive the James Joule Medal from the Institute of Physics. Joule’s contributions to science were hugely important, so it’s a huge honour to be associated with him through this award.”

Professor Hadfield will receive the award in person at the Institute’s Annual Awards Dinner later this year.

QuantIC will be at Laser World of Photonics in Munich from 24-27 June  and will presenting a number of demonstrators to highlight the Hub’s role in translating leading imaging research into innovative technology from initial idea to field testing, prototyping and commercialisation through industrial collaboration. The international trade fair for photonics components, systems and applications attracts over 30,000 visitors every two years and combines technology with industrial application sectors for the widest variety of industry and uses. QuantIC will be at Hall A2, Booth 457.

Laser Munich

Exhibits that will be on display include automated 3D video surveillance using LED sources, a new form of “intelligent” LiDAR to the Hub’s imaging component prototypes such as the Fresnel cones and Wee-g, to a new wide-field fluorescence imaging camera for microscopy which is close to market launch. QuantIC is also delighted to have the involvement of industry partners Aralia, ID Quantique, Horiba Scientific and QLM to be involved in the exhibition.A number of QuantIC’s academics will also be presenting new research at the World of Photonics Congress 2019, which takes place with Laser World of Photonics. The Hub will also be hosting at whiskey tasting reception with Photonics Scotland on the evening of 26 June at the stand.

More information on QuantIC’s research and exhibits can be found in our new flyer here.

For more updates during the event, follow @QuantIC_QTHub

QuantIC will be at Photonex Scotland and Laser World of Photonics next month and will bring  industrial collaboration to the forefront to highlight the Hub’s role in developing new imaging technologies as part of the UK National Quantum Technologies Programme.

Photonex Scotland, which takes place in Glasgow on 5 June will see the Hub and industry partner Horiba Scientific demonstrate a novel molecular camera which enables real-time video rate studies of the fundamental cellular processes that are critical to biology and healthcare. The new fluorescence lifetime imaging (FLIM ) camera is a collaboration between Horiba Scientific and QuantIC researchers at the University of Edinburgh and Strathclyde which was funded by the Hub’s partnership resource fund.

QuantIC will also be co-hosting a Quantum Technologies Day with Fraunhofer CAP and Technology Scotland where the hub will also highlight presentations on its industry projects with Gooch and Housego and M Squared Lasers.

Horiba FLIM exhibit

And later in the month, QuantIC will head to Laser World of Photonics, taking place in Munich, Germany from 24-27 June. The international trade fair for photonics components, systems and applications attracts over 30,000 visitors every two years and combines technology with industrial application sectors for the widest variety of industry and uses. QuantIC will be at Hall A2, Booth 457.

QuantIC’s exhibition stand will demonstrate how the Hub’s leading imaging research is translated into new innovative technology from initial idea to field testing, prototyping and commercialisation all through industrial collaboration. Several industry partners have been invited to jointly exhibit their partnership resource projects to highlight this and they include Horiba Scientific, Aralia, ID Quantique and QLM.

QuantIC will also be hosting at whiskey tasting reception with Technology Scotland on the evening of 26 June at the stand.

For more updates nearer to the exhibition dates, follow us on Twitter @QuantIC_QTHub

QuantIC’s Professor Martin Dawson at the University of Strathclyde delivered a Keynote talk on Micro-LED technology to an audience of 1200 attendees at the International Conference on Display Technology (ICDT) 2019. Held in Kunshun, China from 26-29 March, the ICDT is the only display technology conference held solely by the Society for Information Display outside the United States.

Professor Martin Dawson at ICDT 2019

Professor Dawson is a pioneer of Micro-LEDs and co-founder of mLED Ltd. As well as highlighting the ability of this technology to drive the market convergences indicated above, he indicated the compatibility of this technology with few-photon structured lighting and SPAD single photon sensitive camera systems, work which is being driven by QuantIC.

Micro-LEDs, a novel display and communications technology readily interfaced to CMOS, is now emerging rapidly for new forms of fast, high resolution and ultra-bright displays. Samsung and Sony, for example, have recently demonstrated colossal flat panel displays based on this technology (Samsung’s ‘The Wall’ and Sony’s ‘Crystal LED’) and various companies are demonstrating customised versions for wearables, VR/AR, medical applications and beyond. Yole Development are forecasting worldwide sales of several hundred million of these displays per annum by 2025. MicroLED displays have the capability to drive convergence in display, communications, sensing, imaging and lighting technologies, especially as the bright pixel clusters have sufficient dark space between them to embed sensing functions via front plane integration.

More information on Professor Dawson’s research with QuantIC can be found here.


QuantIC and University of Glasgow researcher Professor Robert Hadfield has been elected Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh (RSE), Scotland’s National Academy. He joins an existing Fellowship of over 1600 individuals who give their time and expertise for free to support the RSE in delivering its mission of ‘knowledge made useful’.

Professor Hadfield is a world expert in capturing light quanta – single photon counting, his main focus being developing photon counting sensors based on superconducting materials. These devices offer extended spectral range, excellent timing resolution and superb signal-to-noise. This rapidly developing technology underpins many quantum enhanced imaging and sensing applications.

He has established world class capability in superconducting single-photon detectors through the James Watt Nanofabrication Centre here in Glasgow and delivered a major demonstrator in the first phase of QuantIC – a miniaturized cooling system for superconducting single-photon detectors.

Congratulations on behalf of QuantIC!

QuantIC has just returned from a successful exhibition at Photonics West. The event saw more than 23,000 registered attendees this year, making it the biggest Photonics West to date. With hundreds of product launches and live demonstrations, as well as the staggering number of technologies on display, the exhibition floor was a continuous hive of activity.

The Hub presented some of its imaging components internationally for the first time and it attracted a lot of interest from attendees. Dr Steven Johnson, who was exhibiting as a QuantIC exhibitor for the first time said, “Photonics West was good to attend and there was a lot of interest, from both industry and academic. There was a lot of discussion on the SPAD array; this is clearly sought after.”

Photonics West 19

QuantIC also co-hosted a whiskey tasting reception with the British Consulate and the Scottish Optoelectronics Association at the UK Pavilion and this also helped to foster more networking opportunities with industry.

Quantum technology was also very much on the agenda at Photonics West with some of the conference proceedings focused on areas such as advanced quantum and optoelectronics applications.

Dr Michael Fletcher, QuantIC’s Business Development Manager said, “It is clear that industry is increasing its use of quantum technologies across a growing range of markets. In particular there was increased interest in single photon detection arrays for a variety of applications ranging from LiDAR systems through to lifetime fluorescence spectroscopy. We had good footfall at our stand and continued to raise our profile by being here. I think this bodes well for future collaborations when we enter the second phase of the UK National Quantum Technologies Programme.”

QuantIC, the UK Quantum Technology Hub in Quantum Enhanced Imaging, will be exhibiting its latest imaging prototypes and associated components at Photonics West, from 5-7 February 2019 in San Francisco. Now in its 25th year, the event is the largest and most influential annual photonics technologies showcase in North America with over 21,000 attendees, two exhibitions and 1,300 exhibiting companies.

QuantIC components PW19

Some of the QuantIC imaging components that will be on display for the first time include the Ge on Si SPAD, a low-cost detector that extends the wavelength range of the silicon detector into the infrared to improve imaging through fog and smoke, Indipix, a mid-infrared imager based on a unique indium antimonide technology that can detect specific gases and Wee-g, a compact ultra-stable Micro Electro Mechanical Systems (MEMS) based accelerometer capable of measuring tiny changes in the gravitational field and find buried objects. The team will be available for technical discussions to explore potential new opportunities to collaborate and commercialise quantum imaging technologies.

Principal Investigator Professor Miles Padgett said, “QuantIC’s vision has been to exploit the potential of Quantum science and translate it into emerging technologies. The prototypes and components we’ve developed are the first steps to the further commercialisation opportunities with industry”. Professor Padgett has also been invited to speak at Photonic West and will be presenting a paper on “Beating classical imaging limits with entangled photonics on 5 Feb.

QuantIC will be at Stand 5159 as part of the UK Pavilion at Photonics West.

For more information on Photonics West, visit

This year’s National Quantum Technologies Showcase in London was the best one yet with more attendees and exhibits and QuantIC was on hand with many demonstrators that were being exhibited for the first time to industry including the Hub’s Germanium on Silicon Single-Photon Avalanche Detector and Computational Photon Counting LiDAR system.

Images from QT Showcase 2018. Photo credit: Dan Tsantilis
Images from QT Showcase 2018. Photo credit: Dan Tsantilis

QuantIC researchers who had exhibited at previous events also noticed the buzz around quantum technologies this year. Dr Johannes Herrnesdorf, who was exhibiting his technology project with Clyde Space on LED based transceivers on nanosatellites said, “Having attended all four Quantum Showcases, I felt that there was a clear evolution throughout the years, with this year’s showcase being the best so far. The layout of the exhibition space was very good, and the structure of the event allowed a continuous flow of visitors to come to our stand throughout its duration. Interest remained high until late on a Friday”. Also echoing the sentiment was Dr Vincenzo Pusino who was exhibiting the Indipix sensor. He said, ”I felt the event really grew over the years, and so did the interest of the people attending, especially now that many of the showcased technologies are getting closer and closer to being ready for commercial exploitation. Our exhibit was well attended and we made many contacts which will hopefully translate in future collaborations”.

Over 700 people attended the National Quantum Technologies Showcase this year, the largest number of visitors to date. Expectations will certainly be higher next year, which will coincide with the mid-point of the ten year national quantum technologies programme.