Research at TU Darmstadt selected as breakthrough in optics in 2023

Scientists at TU Darmstadt extend research on quantum computing to new dimension


December of each year, OPTICA, the U.S. optical society, selects scientific breakthroughs of particular interest to the broad optics community that have emerged over the past year. In this year, research conducted in the group of Prof. Gerhard Birkl at the Institute of Applied Physics at Technische Universität Darmstadt has been highlighted in this exclusive list. The special issue “Optics in 2023” of the journal „Optics & Photonics News” (OPN) reports on work conducted by Malte Schlosser, Dominik Schäffner, and their colleagues, towards advancing unique architectures for quantum computing and quantum simulation.

Special emphasis has been given to a publication presenting a novel concept of three-dimensional scaling of quantum processors, originally published in Physical Review Letters. Scalability of quantum systems presents one of the key requirements for successful future developments in quantum information science. Based on modern optical technology, the research group at TU Darmstadt implemented a novel concept, which led to the scaling of the involved platform from two to three spatial dimensions without requiring the allocation of additional resources. For the first time, this approach allowed for the demonstration of a quantum processing architecture capable of supplying more than 10 000 units of quantum memory, so called quantum bits.

Scaling quantum processors to the third dimension allows for a significant increase in the number of deployable quantum bits.

Professor Gerhard Birkl, Institute of Applied Physics

In view of the panel of experts, the scalability in the number of qubits shown in this work represents an important step toward developing practicable quantum computers. They also foresee a variety of further applications in the field of quantum technologies, such as high-precision optical atomic clocks or quantum sensors for electric and magnetic fields. IAP