Queen Mary chooses cryogenic technology from Oxford Instruments NanoScience to support quantum research

Faculty of Science and Engineering
Centre for Experimental and Applied Physics

13 June 2024

From left to right: Professor Jan Mol, Dr. Junjie Liu, Dr. James Thomas with the diluted refrigerator ProteoxMX.
From left to right: Professor Jan Mol, Dr. Junjie Liu, Dr. James Thomas with the diluted refrigerator ProteoxMX.

To support the expansion of its quantum research activities, The School of Physical and Chemical Sciences at Queen Mary University of London, has installed a dilution refrigerator from Oxford Instruments NanoScience. Since installing the ProteoxMX, the team can perform more experiments at millikelvin temperatures, enabling the research necessary for the development of quantum computing architectures. Led by Dr Jan Mol, Director of Research and Professor of Physics at Queen Mary, the Mol Lab is working on engineering quantum systems with atomic precision by creating molecules with the desired quantum properties through chemical design. Their goal is to investigate single-electron transport and potentially manipulate the spin states of individual molecules. This research dives into the essential building blocks for quantum computing and could lead to the development of high-performing, low-power quantum computers.

Oxford Instruments NanoScience's ProteoxMX is designed for those customers who require greater experimental capacity and adaptability who need large numbers of high frequency lines and signal conditioning components. It is an ideal platform for quantum technology research, spin and superconducting quantum computing and for multi-user, multi-experiment labs. Queen Mary chose this system due to its flexibility to swap out experimental setups utilising the customisable, modular, side-loading Secondary Insert and the availability of multiple line-of-sight ports enabling the addition of experiments in the future. This allows experiments to be set up offline, reducing the fridge downtime when changing experimental configurations. This feature enables multi-user facilities to minimise cool down periods when switching between experimental setups.

Reflecting on the research, Dr Mol comments, "The work we are doing at Queen Mary allows us to investigate the essential building blocks for quantum computing. Beyond enhancing our research output, the availability of advanced equipment like the ProteoxMX has helped the university attract and retain top talent. As quantum research becomes more popular and with strong competition in the industry, offering cutting-edge facilities is essential to make universities more attractive to the talent needed to advance research."

Recognising the current significance of quantum research and as part of its expansion, Queen Mary also recently hired three new lecturers, Dr James Thomas, Dr Nicola McConkey, and Dr Junjie Liu, who will use the ProteoxMX with their students.

Updated by: Ilyana Zolotareva