Q.ANT presents the potentials of quantum technology at the Hannover Fair
Fully integrated quantum magnetic field sensor brings reading of human muscle signals within reach
Stuttgart, April 11, 2023 – Small, lightweight and highly sensitive: with a magnetic field sensor the size of the palm of a hand, Stuttgart-based start-up Q.ANT wants to open up industrial fields of application. One could be medical technology. In the near future, the quantum sensor should be able to control prostheses via muscle signals. Potential partners and interested parties can find out more about this innovative technology at the Hannover Messe from April 17 in Hall 2, Stand C61.
Alongside quantum computing, quantum sensing is seen as a technological promise for the future. It could accelerate industrial progress and make things possible that are at best known from science fiction movies. The Q.ANT magnetometer is a step in this direction. It enables the measurement of the smallest magnetic fields in the range of 300 picotesla, and this at room temperature. Until now, this sensitivity range could only be achieved by cooling sensor systems to absolute zero at ‑273 °C or by heating them up to 150 °C. As a result, systemic integration in industrial applications was hardy feasible.
In contrast, Q.ANT’s magnetic field sensor achieves the high sensitivity at room temperature and paves the way to applications suitable for everyday use. This is the first time that a fully integrated diamond-based quantum sensor is advancing into areas where the detection of muscle signals becomes realistic. The corresponding proof has already been provided with a laboratory setup. Three to four years of development work are still needed before the technology is ready for application. Then, magnetic field sensors built into prostheses will be able to detect muscle signals and trigger corresponding movements. In this way, a prosthetic hand could close into a fist or reach for a cup. The sensors, including the control technology, are still too large to be integrated into prostheses. In the coming years, however, they should shrink from the size of a tin can to matchbox size.
However, Q.ANT founder and CEO Michael Förtsch can also envision areas of application in other industrial sectors that are already being considered, namely “wherever ultra-fine currents need to be measured, such as in the electronics industry for quality control of circuit carriers or hard drives, but also to identify fault currents in power chips or batteries.” Other possible applications are in medical technology for early detection of diseases in the brain, or localization applications in the automotive industry. Förtsch describes the area of human-machine interaction as a “medium-term goal.” Quantum sensor technology makes many things conceivable, including the possibility that machines will one day be controlled by thoughts.
Q.ANT wants to demonstrate the potential of its magnetic field sensors for various industrial applications at the Hannover Fair by means of a display: an exhibit consisting of an artificial hand made of glass, through which a weak current flows, and a quantum sensor. “We read the magnetic field generated by the current from the demonstrator without contact. This allows the sensor to open and close the prosthetic hand,” Förtsch explains. With the trade fair appearance, Q.ANT wants to draw the attention of potential industrial partners to the new technology — in order to then ideally develop it further for a concrete application.
At the Hannover Fair from April 17 to 21, Q.ANT will be present in Hall 2, Booth C61.
Q.ANT is a high-tech startup driving quantum technology, founded in 2018 and part of the TRUMPF Group. Q.ANT’s vision is to improve the quality of how machines analyze their environment, how humans notice information, and the way we think. To reach this vision, Q.ANT develops quantum sensors and quantum computing chips based on its Quantum Photonic Framework. Focusing on its four product lines of Photonic Computing, Particle Metrology, Atomic Gyroscopes and Magnetic Sensing, the company engages with a broad array of industries and applications ranging all the way from medical technology and autonomous vehicles to aerospace, machinery, and the process industry. Q.ANT employs more than 60 people at its site in Stuttgart/Southern Germany.
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Experience photonic quantum technology at Photonics West in San Francisco
Catch a glimpse of our quantum computing chip and experience the world’s first industrialized quantum sensor for particle metrology. Gain insights into the potential of quantum technology for applications of today and tomorrow and learn how quantum technology can secure your competitive edge.
From 31 January to 02 February 2023 Photonics West, the world’s leading trade fair for lasers, quantum and optoelectronics in San Francisco opens its doors. Meet our experts and learn about how Q.ANT uses innovative photonic processes to industrialize quantum technology for the fields of sensor technology and computing.
While quantum sensors enable measurements that were not technically feasible until now to perceive details that previously remained hidden, quantum computers can efficiently solve tasks that are unsolvable for conventional computers today. Focusing on the four product lines of Photonic Computing, Particle Metrology, Atomic Gyroscopes and Magnetic Sensing, Q.ANT engages with a broad array of industries and applications ranging all the way from medical technology and autonomous vehicles to aerospace, machinery, and the process industry.
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SPIE Photonics West; the Moscone Center; Hall F, Booth 4105–10
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Q.ANT goes Fairs and Exhibitions 2023
A varied, international trade show schedule is in store for Q.ANT in 2023: SPIE Photonics West in San Francisco at the end of January will kick things off, followed by Pittcon in Philadelphia in mid-March. After Hannover Messe in mid-April, it’s off to Munich at the end of June for World of Quantum as part of Laser World of Photonics. The fall season starts at the end of September with Powtech in Nuremberg, and the trade show season ends as a “Heimspiel” with Quantum Effects in Stuttgart in October. We are looking forward to many interesting meetings, talks and discussions. You are very welcome to visit our booths, if you wish an appointment please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Q.ANT wishes Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
We wish all our business and development partners, customers, Q.ANTies and friends a Merry Christmas, a peaceful holiday season and a good start into the New Year 2023!
Looking back, it was an exciting year 2022 with many highlights, see for yourself!
Q.ANT in the media
Quantum technology is getting more and more attention in the media — and with it Q.ANT is also in the spotlight. For example, Q.ANT CEO Michael Förtsch is listed in the Handelsblatt article “Next Generation” as one of the “30 top executives who will change Germany”. A technical discussion on the advantages of photonic quantum computing can be found in the PhotonicsViews December issue. But read for yourself…
Kirill Spasibko awarded second place at Quantum Future Award 2022
Q.ANTie Kirill Spasibko was acknowledged with the second place at Quantum Future Award 2022. Advertised by BMBF Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung, Kirill received the prize for his doctoral thesis about the parametric down-conversion, the most practical source of entangled photons, at high gain. The intention of the study-award is to honor outstanding scientific work with clear application relevance in the field of quantum technologies. With his expertise, Kirill essentially contributes to Q.ANTs developments in quantum computing and quantum sensing. The video of the award-ceremony is available on Youtube.
Q.ANT on-chip optical modulators successfully demonstrated
Q.ANT has accomplished the next milestone towards the development of its photonic quantum computer. At the heart of Q.ANT’s approach to photonic quantum computing is the quantum photonic integrated circuit PIC. Here, Qbits based on light serve as information carriers. By spatial and temporal manipulation of the photons through the modulator, quantum effects are generated. This Qbit control is a core competence of Q.ANT.
Since the foundation, Q.ANT relies on lithium niobate as the base material for Photonic Quantum processors. Lithium niobate brings ideal material properties: By applying a Voltage, it allows to exploit the electro-optical effect of the material and enables to manipulate Qbits without losses. The optimized chip design brings all required elements on a single monolithic chip — standing out to all present alternatives used for Photonic Quantum Computing: For the realization of fast and efficient optical quantum computer processors.
Q.ANT awarded at Schwarzer Löwe
Q.ANT was awarded second place at Schwarzer Löwe in the Founder’s category. The quantum particle Sensor convinced the jury to select Q.ANT to the finalists, of which Q.ANT received second place of the prestigious business award of the state of Baden-Württemberg.
The sensor for particle metrology is the world’s first industrial sensor which makes use of quantum technology. Applied in projects by the business partners Festo and Sick, the sensor has been used in monitoring the condition of algae in a bioreactor and analyzing the process of grinding coffee.
The award is a confirmation for Q.ANT and the work of the entire team. And a great sign for quantum technology in general. Also, it shows the potential of innovation within the region of metropolitan Stuttgart. Behind the Schwarzer Löwe business award are a renowned jury and 12 publishing houses with 17 daily newspapers in greater Stuttgart.
MiLiQuant project successfully finalized
After three years of joint developments, the publicly BMBF-funded project MiLiQuant — Miniaturized Light Sources for Quantum Technology — expired. Led and coordinated by Q.ANT, the project aim of developing beam sources based on diode lasers to enable industrial use of quantum technologies was successfully achieved. The interdisciplinary consortium of science and industry with the project partners Bosch, Zeiss, Nanoscribe, Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz and the Paderborn University realized miniaturized, frequency- and power-stable beam sources. These lay the foundation for a multitude of applications in the fields of quantum sensing and novel imaging methods. With 10 Mio Euro, it in 2019 was one of the first high-volume projects in the German funding landscape, which were supported under the new German Quantum Initiative.
Q.ANT, Bosch, TRUMPF and German Aerospace Center aim to use quantum sensors to control satellites
Project partners plan to launch first satellite with quantum technology attitude control in 2027 // Quantum sensors are a key technology for accurately controlling the orientation of communication satellites // Scientific expertise to be provided by the Ferdinand-Braun-Institut, Leibniz-Institut für Höchstfrequenztechnik // German government allocates eight-figure sum to support QYRO project
Stuttgart/Cologne/Berlin, August 26, 2022 – Quantum technology start-up Q.ANT, Bosch, TRUMPF and the German Aerospace Center (DLR) have formed a partnership to develop space-qualified attitude sensors. The aim is to use these quantum technology-based sensors to achieve high-precision attitude control of miniaturized satellites and improve worldwide data communications. The sensors’ ability to maintain precise orientation of the satellites in relation to each other will enable high-speed data connectivity – and that makes them a key part of the technology puzzle. “This strategic partnership shows the tremendous potential that lies in the collaborative development of pioneering technologies. The deployment of quantum technology in the aerospace industry is a huge opportunity for Germany as a major industrial hub,” says Michael Förtsch, CEO of Q.ANT. By supporting a global network of satellites in low Earth orbit, this new collaborative venture will improve Internet connectivity, particularly in more remote regions. The German Aerospace Center (DLR) hopes to launch its first miniaturized satellites equipped with quantum technology in five years’ time. Attitude and position sensors that harness quantum effects can be used not only for satellites, but also for autonomous driving systems and indoor navigation technologies in factories, logistics warehouses and other facilities. The project has a research budget of some 28 million euros, much of which has been provided by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF). The partnership also includes the Ferdinand-Braun-Institut, Leibniz-Institut für Höchstfrequenztechnik (FBH), a research Institute that specializes in developing laser diodes, particularly for applications in space.
Quantum sensors guarantee extremely high precision
Reliable transmission of satellite communication signals can only be achieved by constantly maintaining high-precision attitude control of satellites in their orbit. If a satellite moves out of position, the signals get weaker. The consortium plans to use quantum technology to permanently enhance measurement stability. Quantum sensors are particularly suitable for deployment in satellites thanks to their ability to provide reliably accurate measurement results and excellent performance in a compact, low-weight package. This solution can keep satellites correctly oriented in space over a period of years.
Solid partnership between research and industry
The goal of developing European quantum sensors is to achieve greater independence from the global market. Q.ANT will lead the collaborative development project and develop the overall sensor concept. It is also responsible for integrating the various sensor components and keeping them in precise and stable alignment with each other to ensure they function smoothly and reliably in the satellite. “The job of our sensor is essentially to improve the satellite’s equilibrium,” says Michael Förtsch, CEO of Q.ANT. The Stuttgart, Germany-based quantum technology start-up will also be supplying key electronic components such as a very low-noise detection system. Bosch researchers are working on the development of a miniaturized, space-qualified sensor cell. “The measuring cell is the core component of the quantum sensor,” says Thomas Kropf, who heads up research at Bosch. It is filled with an atomic gas that is excited by laser beams and magnetic fields, which cause the atoms to spin. The rotation of the sensor causes changes in the rotational speed of this spin. This provides high-precision feedback on changes in the satellite’s attitude, thereby enabling more accurate attitude control. “We’re delighted to be part of the project and to be able to contribute our expertise in quantum sensors. It’s another chapter in the success story of MEMS (micro-electro-mechanical systems) sensor technology at Bosch.”
TRUMPF will contribute laser expertise from two of its German locations. TRUMPF Photonic Components in Ulm will supply the miniature laser diodes. These are currently used in smartphones, industrial optical sensors and similar applications, but TRUMPF will now be teaming up with the Ferdinand-Braun Institut to prepare these robust beam sources for use in quantum technology and in space. “I can see a tremendously bright future for our miniature lasers in a whole variety of new applications. This is the kind of government-funded project that gives Germany a real boost as a major hub of photonics expertise. There are so many innovative technologies that can benefit from the know-how and state-of-the-art production facilities that we have built up over the years,” says Berthold Schmidt, CEO of TRUMPF Photonic Components. TRUMPF’s Berlin location specializes in providing solutions in the fields of sensor, laser and quantum technology. It combines the light sources from Ulm with additional measurement technology and then integrates the resulting system into robust, miniaturized housings using innovative assembly and automation techniques. The final product is temperature-stabilized to ensure it can withstand the extreme conditions in space. The Galileo Competence Center at DLR is responsible for all space-related aspects. As well as ensuring the system is space-qualified, it will also be in charge of the implementation, transportation and operation of the satellite. The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) is funding the joint project QYRO as part of an initiative designed to support flagship projects in quantum-based measuring technology that aim to address societal challenges.