QuantIC aids start-up in commercial deal with Thorlabs
QuantIC is excited to announce Thorlabs has released to the market a commercial, turnkey correlated photon-pair source tool (SPDC810); pioneered by the research and development of start-up company, Raycal.
Dr Mateusz Piekarek, Director of Raycal Ltd said “It is exciting to see this novel product reach the market and be available to customers globally. We are proud to have played an integral role in commercialising this technology. Single-photon sources are essential devices for quantum optics research. This turn-key solution will not only allow quantum photonics researchers to enhance their capabilities, but also lower the barriers for specialists from other disciplines”
The product works by using spontaneous parametric down-conversion, to create a pair of energy-time entangled photons, resulting in a bright, high-efficiency heralded single-photon source – that is ideal for quantum optics applications.
Director of Thorlabs’ Laser Division, Peter Fendel said “This is an exciting addition to Thorlabs’ line up of products for the Quantum Photonics community. The project started when a researcher from the University of Bristol reached out asking if we could expedite the efforts of those working in quantum optics labs by offering a compact, reliable single photon source. Prompted by that need, we engaged in a collaborative effort that led to the development of the SPDC source”
Established in 2018, Raycal was founded by QTEC fellow Mateusz Piekarek and QuantIC researcher Jonathan Matthews at the University of Bristol. The company provides consulting services in the area of quantum technologies, with special focus on imaging and metrology. The company has a wide range of expertise including product development, market research and technology analysis. It was the technical development supported by QuantIC, combined with the business skills fostered by the QTEC training programme at University of Bristol that helped push forward the business model and eventual commercialisation of the high-performance Photon Source.
Dr Jonathan Matthews, Associate Professor in quantum technology at the University of Bristol, commented: “It is rewarding to see a research tool, that we’ve traditionally had to re-build many times over for quantum optics experiments from scratch, become commercially available as a turn-key solution. I don’t think this would have happened without the support of QUANTIC and the QTEC training programme”
Founded in 1989, Thorlabs is a vertically integrated photonics products manufacturer that serves the laser and electro-optics research market. As that market has spawned a multitude of technical innovations, Thorlabs has extended its core competencies in an effort to play an ever-increasing role serving the Photonics Industry at the research end, as well as the industrial, life science, medical, and defense segments. The organization’s highly integrated and diverse manufacturing assets include semiconductor fabrication of Fabry-Perot, DFB, and VCSEL lasers; fiber towers for drawing both silica and fluoride glass optical fibers; MBE/MOCVD epitaxial wafer growth reactors; extensive glass and metal fabrication facilities; advanced thin film deposition capabilities; and optomechanical and optoelectronic shops.
QuantIC is part of the UK’s Quantum Technology Hub in Quantum Enhanced Imaging. Established in 2014, QuantIC is one of four Hubs that are part of the UK National Quantum Technology Programme set up to exploit the potential of quantum science and develop a range of emerging technologies to revolutionise imaging across industrial, scientific and consumer markets. QuantIC’s vision is to pioneer a family of multidimensional cameras operating across a range of wavelengths, time-scales, length-scales, creating a new industrial landscape for imaging systems and their applications in the UK.
Professor Steve Beaumont, Director at QuantIC said “We are very excited that the research supported by QUANTIC at the University of Bristol has led to a new product for Raycal. We wish them every success”
The Quantum Technology Enterprise Centre is a key part of the UK’s National Quantum Technology Programme and is a world-leading incubator for innovators for quantum inspired technologies. QTEC offers a twelve-month salaried fellowship to quantum scientists, allowing them a safe environment to explore the commercial potential of their technology ideas. The training programme allows them to develop the skills they need to set up a successful technology start-up and the team of expert mentors led by the QTEC management team, support each Fellow through the start-up process. Now in its fourth cohort, QTEC has supported the creation of 28 new companies including KETS, QLM, Nu Quantum and SeeQC and a report in November 2019 showed that a third of the UK’s funded Quantum Start-ups originated at QTEC. QTEC alumni companies have raised a total of £19.2 million in equity, contract and grant funding to date and have created 60 new highly skilled jobs for the UK Quantum Workforce.