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University-Industry Engagement Advisor

U of Southampton start-up aims to make quantum technologies more accessible


By Jesse Schwartz
Published: August 4th, 2021

A start-up from the University of Southampton is developing a miniaturized cold atom system that could make quantum technologies more widely accessible.

Quantum devices operate by tapping into the wave-like properties of atoms, using a cold atom chamber in which they manipulate the individual atoms. The device by Aquark Technologies miniaturizes the cold atom chamber by a factor of 100, turning this complex, cutting-edge technology into a simple, portable plug-and-play system.

“Quantum technology has for many years offered increased performance over conventional technology, but it has been complicated to achieve, and so applications have been limited,” says Andrei Dragomir, researcher at the University of Southampton and co-founder of Aquark Technologies. “Mostly the tech has stayed hidden in research labs around the world. We want to make cold-atoms practical and accessible for wider use.”

According to Dragomir, the technology could replace bulky, inefficient sensors used regularly in laboratory settings.

“Our core invention is a miniaturized cold atom system that reduces system size from that of an entire lab to the palm of a hand,” he says. “This huge miniaturization step will enable the commercialization of all sensors, accelerating the development and capabilities of quantum technologies. Sensors made with cold atom systems at their core have been shown to significantly surpass their classical counterparts.”

Aquark secured funding from angel investors at the 2020 Future Worlds Demo Day, a start-up pitch event hosted by the University of Southampton. Investor and Southampton alumnus James Vernon comments, “Aquark’s unique approach leverages novel research from the University of Southampton with the potential to unlock world-changing opportunities in the quantum market. As investors we are delighted to work with the team on what promises to be a very exciting journey ahead.”

Source: Bdaily News

Posted under: Tech Transfer e-News

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