The complex devices made by physicist Dr Paul Barclay, PhD, and his research group in the Faculty of Sciences are too small to be seen with the naked eye. But their tiny diamond micro-discs could have a huge impact in revolutionizing computing, telecommunications and other fields.
Such microchip scale components will be needed to link quantum computers together in a quantum lattice. This will enable tamper-proof information and community security, unprecedented computing power, advanced sensors and other applications.
Barclay and his group are part of the University of Calgary Institute of Quantum Sciences and Technologies and collaborate with colleagues from NRC Nanotechnology Research Center and the University of Alberta.
Today, the quantum science and nanoscience research teams of the two universities, which have collaborated for nine years on projects funded by the federal and provincial governments, have together received more than $ 5.2 million from the Canada Foundation for Innovation.
The project is one of five UCalgary-led projects to be receives funding from FCI Innovation for infrastructure investments. “We are extremely proud of the success of our fellows in this competition,” said Dr William Ghali, Vice President (Research).
Investments in infrastructure are essential to the long-term success of our research and place us at the forefront of technological development and knowledge creation.
Eight more UCalgary teams received funding through projects at other institutions valued at $ 56.2 million. Please see the full list of recipients at the bottom of the article.
Barclay funding will be used in a project valued at more than $ 13 million to establish a nano-manufacturing “smelter” at UCalgary – the first of its kind in Canada – to produce more and more complex of “optomechanical diamond” devices. Current plans are to locate the foundry in the Science A and Earth Sciences buildings.
“We are building the capacity to build better devices,” says Barclay, associate professor of physics at the Department of Physics and Astronomy. “Here we will have very good access to a suite of high quality, reliable tools that can be optimized for the work we do. “
Graduate students play a key role in building devices
On Four years ago, Barclay’s research group made the very first nanoscale optical resonator (or “cavity”) from a diamond single crystal that is also a mechanical resonator that vibrates like a tuning fork.
Such optomechanical diamond devices provide a platform for studying the quantum behavior of microscopic objects, including being able to measure the coupling of light and mechanical movement within the optical cavity.
Barclay’s group, in a to study published in January in the journal Nature Communication, have shown that they can transfer information encoded in light into the mechanical vibration of a micro diamond disc, where the information “lives” (remains intact) and can then be measured and retrieved. Such technology will be necessary to build a quantum memory allowing quantum networking.
Barclay thanks its graduate students who participated in the manufacture of the first diamond micro disc in 2016 and who have been part of its research group for the past four years, for being able to go beyond the proof of concept device. initial.
They include then-doctoral students, Dr. David Lake, PhD, and Dr. Matthew Mitchell, PhD, who are the lead author and co-author of the most recent 2021 study, respectively. Lake is now at the California Institute of Technology and Mitchell is at the University of British Columbia.
UCalgary an international leader in quantum science
The University of Calgary is recognized internationally as a leader in quantum photonics. The field involves developing circuits at the micro and nanoscale (about 100 times smaller than the width of a human hair) to transmit and manipulate light containing bits of quantum information, or qubits.
An example of the significance of UCalgary is that research groups at MIT and Stanford adopted the Barclay Group technique to fabricate quantum photonic devices out of diamond.
“The research groups we have here are excellent, with world leaders in the field, and the University of Calgary has been a quantum center for a long time,” said Barclay.
Dr Daniel Oblak, PhD, assistant professor of physics in the Department of Physics and Astronomy, is a quantum memory expert whose group builds devices for quantum memory, using crystals larger than the diamond microchips used by Barclay’s group.
Thanks to the new “QDiamond” project funded by the FCI and the nano-fabrication foundry, the Oblak group will be able to build nano-photonic versions of their devices, which can then be integrated into micro-diamond discs. of the Barclay group.
Dr. Shabir Barzanjeh, PhD, Assistant Professor of Physics in the Department of Physics and Astronomy and who recently joined UCalgary, is an expert in connecting photonic and superconducting quantum circuits. He will be able to use the new foundry to integrate his work, important for connecting quantum computers, to the devices of the Barclay and Oblak groups.
The three groups are currently running experiments in newly constructed and co-located labs that “provide an excellent training environment for graduate students and postdoctoral fellows,” said Barclay.
Dr Barry Sanders, PhD, Professor of Physics and Director of the Institute for Quantum Science and Technology, and Dr Christoph Simon, PhD, Professor of Physics complement the experimental research strengths of the three physicists in the Department of Physics and Astronomy . As Barclay notes, “They are global leaders in understanding what is needed to implement quantum technologies. “
The National Research Council of Canada, in a 2017 report, predicted that “by 2030, Canada will be able to develop an $ 8.2 billion quantum technology industry, employing 16,000 people and generating 35 billion dollars in government revenue ”.
“The CFI-supported QDiamond project and smelter will allow us to advance our future capabilities and remain at the forefront of the field,” said Barclay. “This capacity is necessary for Calgary to play a role in emerging industries based on quantum technology.”
The projects funded by CFI Innovation led by the University of Calgary are:
- Dr Paul Barclay, PhD (Faculty of Science) and Dr John Davis, PhD (University of Alberta): “QDiamond: Accelerating the Second Quantum Revolution”
- Dr Jeff Biernaskie, PhD (Faculty of Veterinary Medicine) and Dr Michael Kallos, PhD (Schulich School of Engineering): “Center for Cell Therapy Translation (CTT)”
- Dr. Viola Birss, PhD (Faculty of Science) and Dr. Edward Roberts, PhD (Schulich School of Engineering): “Sustainable materials for electrolysers, fuel cells and batteries”
- Dr Signe Bray, PhD, and Dr Bradley Goodyear, PhD (Cumming School of Medicine): “Imaging the Development of Brain Circuits for Early Detection and Intervention in Mental Illness”
- Dr Paul Kubes, PhD and Dr Kathy McCoy (Cumming School of Medicine): “Wild Microbiome and Immunity Center”
The UCalgary teams working on CFI Innovation projects led by other institutions are:
- Dr Aaron Goodarzi, PhD (Cumming School of Medicine): “Cancer Risks from Environmental Exposures to Arsenic and Radon (CARE)” (Dalhousie University)
- Dr. David Hogan, Ph.D. (Cumming School of Medicine): “Canadian Longitudinal Study on Aging (CLSA): A Platform for Interdisciplinary Research” (McMaster University)
- Dr Benjamin Tutulo, PhD (Faculty of Science): “Building a Future for Neutron Scattering in Canada” (McMaster University)
- Dr Andrew Daly, PhD, and Dr Douglas Mahoney, PhD (Cumming School of Medicine): “ExCELLirate Canada: Expanding CELL-Based Immunotherapy Research Acceleration for Translation and Evaluation” (Queens University)
- Dr Tim Friesen, PhD (Faculty of Science): “HAICU: Hydrogen Antihydrogen Infrastructure at Canadian Universities for Quantum Innovations in Antimatter Science” (University of British Columbia)
- Dr Christopher Cully, PhD (Faculty of Science): “Mission RADiation Impacts on Climate and Atmospheric Loss Satellite (RADICALS)” (University of Alberta)
- Dr Ian Lewis, Ph.D. (Faculty of Science): “Canadian Analysis Network for Exposure Outcome Prediction (CANOPIE)” (University of Alberta)
- Dr Leo Belostotski, PhD (Schulich School of Engineering) and Dr Jo-Anne Brown, PhD (Faculty of Science): “CHORD: The Canadian HI Observatory and Radio Transient Detector” (University of Toronto)