Scientific publications

The Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) researchers continue to collaborate and publish their research with the top journals around the world.

The IQC Publications database provides access to scientific literature that has been authored or co-authored by IQC researchers.

Scientific highlights

IQC faculty, postdoctoral fellows and students continue to conduct internationally recognized quantum information science research. Here is a sampling of their cutting-edge research published in academic journals over the past term:

Quantum-Enhanced Noise Radar

Appl. Phys. Lett. 114, 112601 (2019)

Researchers at the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) performed the first demonstration of quantum-enhanced noise radar, opening the door to promising advancements in radar technology. The team, lead by faculty member CHRISTOPHER WILSON, showed how the quantum process can outperform a classical version of the radar by a factor of 10, enabling the detection of objects that are faster, smaller, or further away – all while making the radar less detectable to targets.

In the lab, Wilson’s team performed a proof-of-principle radar detection experiment to directly compare the performance of a quantum protocol to a classical protocol.

When photons from each source were sent through the detection scheme, in a head-to-head comparison between the quantum and classical protocols, the researchers found that the quantum source outperformed the classical source by a factor of 10.

The experiment marked a milestone as the first demonstration of quantum illumination in the microwave regime. It also shows the potential for quantum microwaves to have real-world applications outside of the cryostat at room temperature, an exciting prospect for Wilson: “Understanding why this actually works could be a really important step in unlocking more applications for quantum microwaves.”

Quantum-Enhanced Noise Radar, in collaboration with the Université de Sherbrooke and Defence Research and Development Canada (DRDC), appeared as the cover article of Applied Physics Letters on March 18. This research has been undertaken in part thanks to the Canada First Excellence Research Fund (CFREF).

The next generation quantum sensor

Nature Nanotechnology 14, 473–479 (2019)

A new quantum sensor developed by IQC researchers has proven it can outperform existing technologies and promises significant advancements in long-range 3D imaging and monitoring the success of cancer treatments.

The sensors are the first of their kind and are based on semiconductor nanowires that can detect single particles of light with high timing resolution, speed and efficiency over an unparalleled wavelength range, from ultraviolet to near-infrared. The technology also has the ability to significantly improve quantum communication and remote sensing capabilities.

Designed in faculty member MICHAEL REIMER’s Quantum Photonic Devices Lab, the next generation quantum sensor is so fast and efficient that it can absorb and detect a single particle of light, called a photon, and refresh for the next one within nanoseconds. The researchers created an array of tapered nanowires that turn incoming photons into electric current that can be amplified and detected.

The semiconducting nanowire array achieves its high speed, timing resolution and efficiency thanks to the quality of its materials, the number of nanowires, doping profile and the optimization of the nanowire shape and arrangement. The sensor detects a broad spectrum of light with high efficiency and high timing resolution, all while operating at room temperature.

In collaboration with researchers at the Eindhoven University of Technology, Tapered InP nanowire arrays for efficient broadband high-speed single photon detection was published in Nature Nanotechnology on March 4. The research was undertaken thanks in part to funding from the Canada First Research Excellence Fund (CFREF).

One Million Percent Tunnel Magnetoresistance in a Magnetic van der Waals Heterostructure

Nano Lett. 2018, 18, 8, 4885-4890

A team of IQC researchers led by faculty member ADAM WEI TSEN and postdoctoral fellow HYUN HO KIM, in collaboration with the Renmin University of China, demonstrated an electronic device with an extremely large response to a magnetic field by using a combination of two-dimensional quantum materials. The size of this effect was unexpected, and may provide avenues for further development of quantum technologies.

Magnetic tunnel junctions are used in magnetoresistance random access memory (MRAM). By assigning a 0 and a 1 to the high and low resistance states, MRAM can be used as both computer storage and memory. In this study, the researchers made a magnetic tunnel junction by manually placing 2D layers of the magnetic semiconductor CrI3 between graphene electrodes. When a voltage was applied across the tunnel junction, electrons quantum-tunneled through the thin layer of CrI3.

In a low-temperature environment, the team then introduced a magnetic field. That is when something interesting happened: the electric current passing through the junction increased by one million percent. The sizable magnetoresistance and fine spin control opens up a path for further research with this quantum material that could lead to advances in spintronics. The paper, One Million Percent Tunnel Magnetoresistance in a Magnetic van der Waals Heterostructure, appeared in Nano Letters. The research was undertaken thanks in part to funding from the Canada First Research Excellence Fund.