October 5, 2023
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Shared infrastructure environment for the development of quantum technologies to be built in Jyväskylä

Shared infrastructure environment for the development of quantum technologies to be built in Jyväskylä

A significant new Business Finland funding accelerates the progress of Finnish quantum technology. A shared infrastructure environment is being built at the University of Jyväskylä's Nanoscience Center for researching and developing quantum technology platforms. The infrastructure will be open to both public and private research, and users will include university researchers as well as start-up companies. This is the only infrastructure in Finland that is openly available and focuses specifically on semiconductor-based quantum technologies. Shared infrastructures are still rarities internationally.

The application led by Professor Juha Muhonen of the University of Jyväskylä's Department of Physics received significant funding from Business Finland. The funding is part of the European Union's RRF funding, aimed at accelerating the construction of test, experimentation, research, and innovation environments supporting the development of quantum computing technologies.

"The funding is unique in many ways. The new infrastructure will be one of a kind in Finland, bringing together Finnish industrial and research organizations' expertise to find new quantum technology solutions," rejoices Professor Juha Muhonen of the University of Jyväskylä's Department of Physics.

Development of Quantum Computers

There is widespread interest in quantum technologies in the industry because, by utilizing quantum phenomena, we can solve challenges facing humanity, as quantum will find its way into sensors, computers, telecommunications, and data transfer in the future. Now, in the project funded by Business Finland, a shared infrastructure environment is being built that is suitable, for example, for measuring quantum computers and developing the necessary control and measurement electronics. This can lead to the creation of more efficient quantum computers.

"Quantum computers can be made in many different ways. For example, in my research, I am trying to find out how quantum sensors and components of a quantum computer could be manufactured using silicon (Si). This measurement infrastructure helps us get closer to the goal," explains Muhonen.

The infrastructure focuses on the characterization and development of quantum bits, or qubits, with a particular emphasis on semiconductor-based qubits, for which the infrastructure is still undeveloped in Finland.

"However, the infrastructure can also be used for the development of other types of qubit implementations. In practice, we offer the opportunity to characterize quantum devices. This requires low temperatures (measurement temperature is about 0.01 degrees above absolute zero), high-frequency electronics, and usually a high magnetic field in the case of semiconductor-based qubits," clarifies Muhonen. "We also offer an experimental environment for the control electronics needed to operate a quantum computer," continues Muhonen.

Strengthening Business Collaboration

What makes the project unique is that it is openly available to both the public and private sectors. 66% of the equipment usage time is allocated to public research and 34% to private use. The project is also funded by the VTT-originated start-up company SemiQon, which is building scalable quantum technology based on semiconductors. Additionally, many companies focused on quantum technology have shown support letters for the project.

"We are a small company, and external infrastructure facilitates our work, as we do not have to invest as much in our own infrastructure. We also want to collaborate more with universities, as closer cooperation opens up new opportunities and initiatives. Research collaboration is critical, as there is still much to learn and research in this field. There is not enough knowledge or skill yet," explains Chief Science Officer Janne Lehtinen from SemiQon.

“An open measurement and testing infrastructure like this puts Finland strongly in the European map where there is already a strong push for developing federated infrastructure for supporting companies in quantum technologies within a Framework Partnership Agreement (FPA),” adds Himadri Majumdar, CEO of SemiQon.

The construction of the infrastructure at the University of Jyväskylä's Nanoscience Center will begin as soon as possible, and according to the funding conditions, it must be fully completed by the end of 2025 at the latest.

For inquiries and additional information:

Chief Science Officer Janne Lehtinen, janne@semiqon.tech

Professor Juha Muhonen, juha.t.muhonen@jyu.fi

Photo: Elina Leskinen/University of Jyväskylä