Country for PR: United Kingdom
Contributor: PR Newswire Europe
Thursday, October 01 2020 - 02:00
IQM staff publishes a quantum-computer breakthrough in Nature
ESPOO, Finland, September 30, 2020 /PRNewswire-AsiaNet/ --

- The new high-speed nanoscale radiation detector is now on par with the best 
quantum computer readers. Many present IQM employees co-authored the research 
carried out at Aalto University and VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland. 

Prof. Mikko Möttönen's university research group and collaborators have 
engineered a fast and ultra-sensitive nanoscale bolometer that detects very 
faint microwave radiation. In fact, the radiation detected is so weak that 
heating up a cup of coffee at room temperature, for 1°C in a microwave oven 
would have taken 50 septillion times more energy. That is a 5 followed by 25 

"The device is so tiny; it could even fit inside a bacterium," says Möttönen 
who is a joint Professor of Quantum Technology at Aalto University and VTT, and 
also a Co-Founder of IQM.

The new bolometer can measure the energy of photons much more accurately and 
faster than before. This is essential for quantum computers, since measuring 
the energy of qubits, the quantum bits, is an integral part of quantum 
algorithms. Moreover, the device is small and readily integrable into 
superconducting quantum processors, providing a clear path towards real-world 

"We started the proof-of-concept using gold palladium for the bolometer," says 
M.Sc. Roope Kokkoniemi, the first author of the Nature paper 
[] who just joined IQM. "It 
worked but at the same time we also figured out how to make it even better. 
This is where graphene comes in as a replacement. The end result is indeed a 
much better sensor that can operate at higher speed, so much better that it can 
be useful in reading out the state of a superconducting qubit, the building 
block of a superconducting quantum processor," added Roope. This has also been 
a collaborative effort with Professor Pertti Hakonen's NANO group of Aalto 
University, with VTT, and with National University of Singapore.

Accelerating the development at IQM
In quantum computers such as the ones developed at IQM, this detector 
technology could prove very useful in replacing conventional readers and 
enabling the scaling up of future quantum processors due to its relatively 
small size. By virtue of being at the epicenter of quantum in Finland, IQM is 
in a unique position to commercialize such breakthroughs through close 
cooperation with the growing local quantum ecosystem. 

"We consider this an exciting milestone in the field of quantum technology. IQM 
is constantly looking for new ways to enhance its quantum-computer technology 
and this new bolometer certainly fits the bill," explains Dr Kuan Yen Tan, 
Co-Founder of IQM who was also involved in the reported research.

Technology from the best research
IQM is a prime example of a successful technology transfer story, epitomizing 
how research can be commercialized in an expedited way. IQM has become the 
leading quantum-computer company in Europe in an extraordinarily short time, 
already making its way towards the first commercial quantum computer sale. The 
company has managed to establish itself a unique foundation in the field, not 
only because of it has been able to recruit a major fraction of the highly 
limited pool of talented quantum engineers, but also because of its ability to 
cooperate with universities and industry partners all over Europe.

Significant part of IQM's rapid development and brilliance in the field of 
quantum computing stems from the close interplay with academia. In fact, IQM is 
highly integrated in academia and most of its employees have research 
background. IQM's team has collectively published over 640 scientific articles 
with more than 27,000 citations.

IQM's aim is to become a pan-European quantum-computer company and further 
expand its partnerships with the best research teams all over Europe. 

The link to the Nature article:

The link to the Aalto University's press release:


IQM Contacts for questions and comments:

Dr Kuan Yen Tan  
Chief Technology Officer 
Tel. +358 50 477 8091   
(English & Chinese)


Henrikki Mäkynen 
Tel. +358 40 547 3835
(English & Finnish)


IQM Finland Oy
Keilaranta 19
02150 Espoo

Source: IQM Finland Oy