Four Sydney quantum experts have been awarded Australian Research Council funding, with three Future Fellows and one Discovery Early Career Researcher Awards (DECRA) to further explore research into quantum technologies.

ARC Future Fellowships 2022

ARC Future Fellowships are awarded to the best and brightest of Australia’s mid-career researchers to undertake innovative research with potential future benefits for the nation. Applications for Future Fellowships 2023 are open until 30 November 2022 — Apply now.

Congratulations to the following Future Fellows for 2022:

Dr Ting Rei Tan, University of Sydney ($824,000) 

A Dual-species Ion Trap with Precision Optical Clocks. This project will enable new technological capabilities to overcome challenges in scaling up quantum computation and advancing quantum clocks. It will develop a versatile dual-species atomic instrumentation paired with precision laser systems. This advanced technological platform will be augmented by an extensive toolbox of quantum control engineering protocols to perform error-robust quantum operations for fault-tolerant quantum computation and high-precision spectroscopy. The expected outcomes will also benefit other disciplines: advanced quantum simulations for chemical dynamics, precision spectroscopy for astronomy, next-generation lasers, tests of fundamental physics, and quantum-enhanced positioning, navigation, and timing. 

 Dr Jarryd Pla, UNSW ($952,000) 

Performing cold microwave measurements with warm diamonds. Detecting weak microwave signals at room temperature is an exceptionally difficult task, due to the excessive thermal microwave noise that exists all around us. At present, the best microwave receivers must be cooled to cryogenic temperatures, restricting their widespread use. This project aims to apply diamond-based quantum technologies to achieve unprecedented microwave signal detection sensitivities with a room-temperature setup, providing more accessible ultra-low noise detectors. The ability to measure weak microwave signals is crucial for a range of sectors and the results of this project are expected to have applications in defence (radar), space exploration (satellite communication), and fundamental research (spectroscopy). 

Professor Igor Aharonovich, UTS ($1,118,243) 

Quantum Nanophotonics with Atomically Thin Materials . This project aims to deliver new hardware for scalable integrated quantum photonics based on fluorescent defects in hexagonal boron nitride. The project will generate new knowledge in advanced manufacturing of two-dimensional systems, to pivot towards engineering of new optical qubits. Expected outcomes include a solid-state platform for on-chip quantum technologies and development of sovereign quantum capabilities. The results will constitute an important step towards implementation of secure communications and quantum information protocols. Benefits include advances in emerging manufacturing capabilities, training of young Australians, generation of intellectual property and securing major economic benefits to all Australians. 

Discovery Early Career Researcher Awards (DECRA) 2022

The DECRA scheme is awarded to early career researchers. It aims to: support excellent basic and applied research, as well as national and international research collaboration; enhance the scale and focus of research in Australian Government priority areas; advance promising early career researchers and promote enhanced opportunities for diverse career pathways; and enable research and research training in high quality and supportive environments. Applications for DECRA 2024 are open until 9 December 2022 — Apply now.

Congratulations to the following DECRA awardees:

Zixin Huang, MQ ($415,154) 

Quantum-enabled super-resolution imaging. The aim is to design large scale, quantum-enabled imaging systems to boost the resolution of state-of-the-art instruments by three to five orders of magnitude. Using the toolbox of quantum information and quantum optics, the project expects to generate novel methods for 2D and 3D imaging, and precision measurements that can reach fundamental limits. Imaging is critical in much of today's research. The unparalleled resolution can benefit a broad range of scientific fields, the medical and the defence sector by resolving objects otherwise impossible. This project will strengthen Australia’s position as a world leader in quantum technologies by presenting solutions to overcome critical bottlenecks in imaging methods in the optical domain.