News and Events

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 25 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.

QuantIC was thrilled to present its “light in flight” research to the public at the IOP Festival of Physics last weekend at Dynamic Earth in Edinburgh. The stand was part of Quantum City, the national public engagement strategy for the UK National Quantum Technologies Programme.

Festival of Physics 18

Visitors were able to get their picture taken at the speed of light and QuantIC’s new augmented reality exhibit demonstrated how a camera could see around corners or behind a wall. And for a number of researchers from the Hub, the event was also their first foray into public engagement. PhD student Jack Radford said, “It was my first public engagement event and I had a great day! I had some great in depth conversations about physics and quantum technologies with members of the public. I enjoyed trying to answer difficult physics questions in a simplistic way to get people excited about science! Their enthusiasm to understand complex physics certainly rubbed off on me and re-ignited my excitement about my own research. A lot of kids loved playing with our demonstrations, often getting hands on rearranging the equipment in Augmented Reality (AR) and doing the floss dance with our 3D imaging camera. Chiming in, PhD student Gabriella Mussara said, “By taking part, I got the chance to share my current topic of research with an audience from a completely different background.” Another public engagement first timer PhD student Lucrezia Cester added, “The Festival of Physics allowed me to share my work with kids, which I hope will be intrigued and inspired to follow a career in science.”

The public’s response to Quantum City was overwhelmingly positive, with almost 96% positive feedback received from visitors and lovely comments such as “very interesting technology” and “really interesting. I can see my son being inspired”. The Festival of Physics, which was organised by the Institute of Physics, attracted over 3,700 visitors over the two days.

QuantIC was excited to be involved in “Photonics Meets Real World Applications”, a joint doctoral training careers workshop for the EPSRC CDTs in Photonic Integration & Advanced Data Storage, Applied Photonics, and Intelligent Sensing & Measurement last week in Glasgow. The event, was an opportunity for CDT students to foster collaboration with industry and academic partners to foster collaboration and also provided them insight into knowledge transfer practices and working in industry.

Richard Middlemiss CDT Workshop

Dr Richard Middlemiss, one of QuantIC’s researchers, was invited to speak at the event where he shared his experience on Wee-g, from taking it out of the labs and closer to commercialisation by working at Kelvin Nanotechnology. He said, “At the workshop I gave a talk on my experiences of working on an R&D project I have been working on for the last 6 years – the development of a new type of sensor for imaging things underground (e.g. magma under volcanos). Recently I spent 9 months on secondment with a nanotechnology company – KNT. It was an interesting experience to see the contrast of how industry and academia approach the same problem.”

The event, which was attended by 60 PhD students from universities across Scotland and Belfast, also saw QuantIC industry partners such as M Squared Lasers, Compound Semiconductor Technologies, Leonardo and KNT speaking about careers in the different sectors, including quantum technologies, where photonics is expected to play a leading role.

QuantIC’s new augmented reality exhibit was met with wild enthusiasm by visitors at New Scientist Live in London where it was exhibited as part of Quantum City last weekend. The interactive exhibit was developed specially to raise awareness of the Hub’s technologies such as photon-counting LIDAR and gas imaging and to act as a catalyst to encourage the public to ask questions about the technologies’ potential applications in for example, autonomous vehicles of the future.

QuantIC @ NS Live

QuantIC researcher and exhibitor Ermes Toninelli said, “Kids and grown-ups had fun looking at the reflections of photons from a virtual light-source, scattering and reflecting off of a mannequin head. I knew it was a success when I saw an improvised ‘quantum optics scientist’ trying to catch some of the scattered photons in mid-air, lost between the illusion of a virtual and real world.” The exhibit was also popular with some well known personalities in the scientific community, including Dr Patrick Valance, the government’s chief scientific advisor and British astronaut Tim Peake.

QuantIC’s Dr Matt Edgar said, “If I had to pick one highlight of the day, it would be when British astronaut Tim Peake found time in his busy schedule to engage with our exhibit, learn about our world research and become an experimental quantum physicist for the day!” He added, “Overall our experience at New Scientist Live has given me confidence that our new exhibit really works and will make a big impact on the public for many years to come.”

Developed with support from The Leverhulme Trust, there are also plans to take QuantIC’s augmented reality exhibit to other science festivals as well as into schools to encourage students to consider studying physics and engineering at university.