Quantum Readout Techniques and Technologies


About us

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation
programme under Grant agreement No 862644. It is a consortium of six academic institutions and an industrial partner across Europe (UK, Denmark, Italy, Finland, Austria) led by the University of York which is scheduled to run until the end of 2022. See more about partners involved.


Aims of the project

Quantum information is today a mature cutting-edge science that is ready to develop next-generation quantum technologies for the benefit of the wider society. Among its potential future applications, some of the most important will be related to the storage, analysis and manipulation of classical data. Data are in fact becoming so large and complex to make traditional processing techniques completely inadequate, with crucial challenges for important areas like business, health care, and societal security. In line with these increasingly pressing issues, the general aim of this project is to exploit the laws of quantum mechanics and the tools of quantum information to develop new powerful methods for the retrieval and recognition of classical data from physical systems.

More precisely, we aim at showing a substantial quantum-enhancement in several tasks, including:

  • The readout of classical data from optical digital memories (quantum reading)
  • The recognition of classical patterns (quantum pattern recognition)
  • The optical measurement of concentration in fragile biomedical samples (quantum bio-probing)
  • The microwave detection of target objects (microwave quantum illumination or quantum radar)

These objectives are realized starting from the optimization of a general theoretical model at their basis: quantum hypothesis testing. This basic model is then gradually developed into technical studies and proof-of-principle experimental demonstrations of these quantum technologies.


Towards next-generation quantum sensing technologies

Efficiently reading bits of data with just a few photons means that new kinds of organic memories and photodegradable materials could be considered. This can be particularly useful at high frequencies, where dye-based supports become extremely photosensitive. The basic working mechanism might be developed into more efficient technologies for data storage/retrieval, with increased transfer rates and capacities.

Thanks to the superior performance at very low energies, quantum reading and pattern recognition might have long-term applications in biology and medicine. The potential is for a fully non-invasive probing of fragile biological samples or human tissues, e.g., for recognizing patterns associated with bacterial growths or cancerous cells. These patterns could be identified by non-invasive quantum-correlated light, whereas classical light would either damage/destroy the samples or be unable to extract meaningful information. Such results could lead to future non-invasive techniques for biomedical imaging.

The development of a short-range quantum radar can have potential applications in terms of continuous-running low-power environmental scanning, both for safety (as a proximity sensor for obstacle detection) and security (as a scanner or surveillance tool in certain densely-populated environments such as airports).

Experimental Results

For a quick look at our recent experimental results and prototypes under development click here.


Collection of QUARTET papers together with short summaries are available here.


Meetings and Seminars

Kick-off meeting & workshop @ University of York (16-17 Dec 2019). See here for more details.

1st annual QUARTET onlie meeting (30th October 2020). Invited speaker Zheshen Zhang (University of Arizona): "Entangled Sensor Networks Empowered by Machine Learning" - See the slides.

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 862644

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