The Spin-NANO Project

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The Spin-NANO Project

Quantum Cryptography, optical microcavities explained by Najwa Sidqi


Built on the success of predecessor Innovative Training Network S3NANO, and coordinated by Professor Alexander Tartakovskii of the University of Sheffield, leader of the Think Ahead project, Spin-NANO is an Innovative Training Network funded by Marie Sklodowska-Curie actions under the H2020-MSCA-ITN 2015 call. The Spin-NANO Network brings together world-leading experts in nanoscale solid state spin systems from academia and industry in order to achieve scientific breakthroughs and develop new spin system technologies for quantum information and nano-imaging.

Combining technical and academic strengths with their depth of experience, supervisors in esteemed institutions, Spin-NANO will offer three years of Doctoral training to 15 Early Stage Researchers.

The network has been organised into research groups according to the primary innovative objectives of the Spin-NANO Network:

·         Realisation of spin qubits with all electrical control in material with spin-less matrices

·         The development of applications of spin impurities for quantum computing

·         Quantum networks and nano magnetometry

·         Exploring spin Valley properties in transition metal dichalcogenides (TMDCs)

·         Development of microcavity and dielectric antenna technology for efficient photon extraction in spin nanosystems.  This is the primary research topic of Helia Photonics.


2.Spin-NANO Network

The Spin-NANO Network comprises 14 academic and 7 industrial groups across 6 European Countries:

·         United Kingdom: The University of Cambridge, Helia Photonics (Livingston, Scotland) and the University of Sheffield are Beneficiaries of the program, and the University of Manchester, National Graphene Institute and Element Six are Partners of the network.

·         Denmark: The University of Copenhagen

·         France: The Centre National de Recherche Scientifique (CNRS)

·         Germany: Technische Universität München, Universität Konstanz and Attocube Systems

·         The Netherlands: TU Delft as a beneficiary and 4 industrial partners, which are: Janssen Precision, Leiden Cryogenics B.V, HQ Graphene and Urenco

·         Switzerland: ETH Zürich and the University of Basel


3.Helia Photonics in the Spin-NANO Network

Helia Photonics will be primarily involved in the development of microcavities and dielectric antenna technology for efficient photon extraction in spin nanosystems. Helia Photonics will fabricate high quality and low loss dielectric Bragg Mirrors for high finesse tunable microcavities. The finesse (F) is the ratio of free spectral range to the line width of cavity model[1].

The figure below depicts a microcavity. The high quality DBR developed by Helia Photonics will be integrated in two principal types of microcavities. The figure below represents the mechanical setup of a Fabry-Perot air gap microcavity as introduced by L.E Greuter from the University of Basel [2]. The design below represents a highly reflective planar-concave mirror pair separated by a wavelength-sized air gap and forming the High Finesse resonator. The planar bottom mirror is DBR coated. The mounting is prepared by Attocube, also a Spin-NANO member, using a 3 axis piezo stack, which allows sub-nanometer precision in positioning relative to the top mirror. Prior to coating by Helia Photonics, the top mirror will be prepared using either CO2 laser ablation of fused Silica (University of Basel) or Focused Ion Beam (University of Sheffield).


Figure: Setup of a Fabry-Perot microcavity(left) and Confocal Scanning Laser Microscope image for Laser ablated crater for the top mirror of the cavity(right), L.Greuter, university of Sheffield, 2015

High Finesse microcavities can be accessed by increasing the reflectivity of the mirrors. DBRs usually consist of a succession of low and high refractive index layers, increasing the refractive index contrast or the number of the layers can increase the reflectivity of the DBR. However, the fabricated DBRs have also to fulfil mechanical stability and uniform optical performance specifications. With a target of very low loss HR coatings and reflectance values reaching up to 99.99%, Spin-NANO will benefit from the expertise and capabilities of Helia Photonics in optical coating design and deposition in order to achieve these challenging targets. Helia Photonics has expertise and in-depth experience in Ion assisted electron beam technology, RF sputtering and thermal evaporation, as well as knowledge of the behaviours of thin film coatings, their optical performances and physical properties [3].


[1] A.V. Kavokin, J. J. Baumberg, G. Malpuech, F. P. Laussy: Microcavities

[2] L. Greuter: Self-Assembled Quantum Dots in a fully tunable microcavity, Doctor of Philosophy thesis (2015)

[3] S. Dufferwiel, S. Schwarz, F. Withers, A. A. P. Trichet, F. Li, M. Sich, O. Del Pozo-Zamudio, C. Clark, A. Nalitov, D. D. Solnyshkov, G. Malpuech, K. S. Novoselov, J. M. Smith, M. S. Skolnick, D. N. Krizhanovskii& A. I. Tartakovskii, Nature communications 6, 8579 (2015)


4.Training Program and Network Events

The primary goal of Spin-NANO is the training of researchers in the main quantum information technologies targeted within the program, thus improving understanding of spin nano-systems and underpinning future innovation in materials and technologies for the quantum information industry. In the context of H2020, the Spin-NANO network aimsto develop real life industrial applications, therefore training will cover research as well as transferable skills.

a.Training Program 

The Spin-NANO Network will offer a high quality training program to its Early Stage Researchers (ESR). Some of the elements of the program are:

·         Attendance of International Conferences and schools,as well as workshops specifically targeting the needs of Spin-NANO

·         Each ESR will undertake secondments to both academic and industrial partners. With 6 industrial partners in the network, the multidisciplinary exchange provided by the secondments will allow the ESRs to enhance their technical and professional skills.

·         Training also covers essential complementary, transferable skills such as leadership, entrepreneurship, management, intellectual property rights, public engagement, and additionalnon-scientific skills such as: economics, financing, accountancy, law and management

·         Within a Network comprising 18 participants and partners, communication will be an invaluable skill to be developed by each researcher. With this in mind, Spin-NANO will offer workshops and masterclasses to develop presentationand networking skills, as well as public events and engagements.

b.Network Events

Spin-NANO will organise project meetings and Nano-spin schools during the progress of the project.

Summer School 2016 (Copenhagen):

Spin-NANO organised  the Summer School in Copenhagen, entitled:“Quantum Information in Condensed Matter Physics”.  This took place in the Niels Bohr Institute from 3rd to 8th of July 2016. Spin-NANO ESRs attended lectures given by network scientists and external experts:

·         Prof. Lieven Vandersypen (TU Delft): Electron Spin Qubits in Quantum Dots

·         Prof. Barbara Terhal (RWTH Aachen): Quantum error correction for quantum memories and surface codes

·         Prof. Leo DiCarlo(TU Delft):  Quantum Computing with circuit QED

·         Prof. Dan Shahar (The Weizmann Institute): The superconductor-insulator transition

·         Prof. Stephen Barlett, (University of Sydney): Topological phases for quantum information

·         Prof. Mark Dykman (University of Michigan): Quantum states of light and Floquet Theory

The Summer School gave a great opportunity to meet with Researchers inside and outside the Network and to exchange and discuss recent research findings in the field of quantum devices and theory through poster sessions.