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PROCESS SOLUTIONS FOR
QUANTUM TECHNOLOGY

What is Quantum Technology?

Quantum Technology refers to the next generation of computing, communication, simulation and sensing technology that relies on two key features of individual atoms, electrons or light particles (photons): superposition and entanglement.

Superposition allows these quantum systems to live in multiple states at once, while entanglement allows them to be co-dependent, enabling the possibility of connecting them in a network while still acting as one system.

Quantum Solutions

Oxford Instruments Plasma Technology offers state of the art process solutions for the fabrication of key components in a quantum system:

  • Atomic Layer Deposition (ALD)
    • Of superconducting materials for Qubits, Quantum Circuits, Microwave resonators, and single-photon detectors, such as NbN and TiN and more
    • Of dielectrics (such as Al2O3, AlN and TaN) for tunnel barriers in Josephson Junctions
    • Al2O3 as a passivation layer for the fabrication of optical components in diamond (microcavities, nanobeams, waveguides etc)
  • Superconducting metal etching, e.g. Nb, Ta, Al, TiN
  • PECVD and ICP CVD
    • of SiNx with low hydrogen content for low-loss waveguides
    • SiNx used as a hard mask for diamond structuring
  • 2D materials CVD for applications as single-photon emitters, such as WS2 and MoS2
  • Smooth sidewall etching via Bosch or cryo etch of SiNx, InP and GaAs for integrated photonic components in optical quantum technologies
  • Reactive Ion Etching (RIE) for smooth, low damage diamond thinning with O termination to further protect NV centres.
  • Deep Si Etch for TSV to enable 3D integration of Quantum circuits

Quantum Applications

Understanding the mechanics of the Quantum world at the turn of the century enabled some of the most widely used technologies today such as the flash memory, superconductors, lasers and LEDs. Today, we are seeing the evolution of a new generation of quantum devices that goes beyond the exploitation of quantum effects and relies on the manipulation of quantum states.

Quantum technology is now enabling a new generation of photonics and electronics applications from quantum computing to solve seemingly intractable problems, sensors for navigation, atomic clocks and secure data communications.

We offer quantum device processing solutions for:

  • Superconducting Qubits and Quantum circuits
  • Diamond based quantum systems
  • Integrated quantum photonics
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Superconducting Qubits and Quantum Circuits

Superconducting Qubits and Quantum Circuits

  • ALD of superconducting nitrides, e.g. NbN, TiN
  • ALD of tunnel barriers, e.g. Al2O3, AlN
  • Plasma etching of superconducting metals and nitrides
  • Deep silicon etch for Through-Silicon Via (TSV) for 3D integration

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Diamond-based Quantum Systems

Diamond-based Quantum Systems

  • Plasma etching of diamond surfaces & features
  • Plasma etching to create surfaces for efficient light collection
  • SiNx hard mask deposition, e.g. Si3N4

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Photonics Integrated Circuits for Quantum

Photonics Integrated Circuits for Quantum

  • Atomic layer deposition of superconducting nitrides for SNSPDs
  • High temperature, SiH4 and NH3-free PE (ICP) CVD of Si3N4 for low-loss waveguides
  • Plasma etching for optical components (e.g. gratings, waveguides)

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Wide Range of Processes

This fast-evolving field of technology demands a wide range of quantum materials processes for high precision device fabrication.

Oxford Instruments Plasma Technology provides state of the art materials deposition and etching processes for quantum technology R&D and device development. Using our strong expertise in plasma etching and deposition of materials, we enable researchers and engineers to work with a wide range of materials and build critical quantum device components such as single-photon detectors, quantum interconnects, tunnel junctions, integrated quantum optics/photonics, Nitrogen vacancy centres, and more.

20nm Nb etched down to SiO2 using RIE

20nm Nb etched down to SiO2 using RIE

Defect free clean & smooth diamond surface post 16µm etch

Defect-free clean & smooth diamond surface post 16µm etch

Effect of bias power on ALD NbN film resistivity and film stress.

Effect of bias power on ALD NbN film resistivity and film stress.

Resistance versus temperature of ALD NbN for measuring Tc

Resistance versus temperature of ALD NbN for measuring Tc – courtesy of Oxford Instruments NanoScience


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Superconducting qubits and resonators fabricated using PlasmaPro 100 RIE.
(Courtesy of University Glasgow)

Plasma Processing Solutions

Our PlasmaPro 100 platform enables high precision deposition and etching of a wide range of materials for quantum devices. We offer key processing solutions for various device fabrication challenges for the various approaches in today’s quantum technology R&D and device development.

Oxford Instruments have a strong history in providing state of the art solutions in this rapidly developing applications are a key enabler of quantum technologies beyond device fabrication solutions.

Find out more about all of our Quantum solutions.

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