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Covesion to develop a high-rate polarisation-entangled photon-pair source

Covesion Ltd are to take the lead on an Innovate UK funded project aiming to develop a high-rate polarisation-entangled photon-pair source based on the company’s new nonlinear optical crystal platform. High Rate of Entangled Photons (HiREP) is an 18-month feasibility study being led by Covesion in collaboration with project partners, Fraunhofer UK.

The ability to generate high rates of entangled photon pairs remains a critical requirement for quantum key distribution (QKD) and quantum information processing (QIP) systems. QKD offers prospects for a secure society, including the protection of critical infrastructure and valuable data, while QIP provides an avenue to fault-tolerant universal quantum computing delivering faster drug discovery and complex system optimisation.

HiREP aims to address the need for high rates of entangled photon pairs through a number of technical and commercial innovations. Covesion’s recently developed high-power PPLN waveguide platform is capable of generating high-rates of polarisation-entangled photons through spontaneous parametric down-conversion. The project will focus on the commercialisation of these components for QKD and QIP applications.

“By utilising our new proprietary PPLN technology, we have identified an opportunity to develop a novel solution for an entangled photon source which is capable of producing a high rate of entangled photons, creating a new business opportunity and increasing the market potential for QKD and QIP systems.” says Andrew Astill, COO at Covesion. “Although Covesion have worked in partnership with Fraunhofer on other projects, HiREP presents an opportunity for both organisations to work collaboratively for the first time on entangled photon sources, and access new high-efficiency (>85% at 1550 nm) single-photon detectors.”

Mike Day, CEO of Covesion comments, “As society increasingly depends on digital platforms the requirement for information security will continue to grow. The cybersecurity market and quantum communication sectors are predicted to see strong growth over the next 10 years.  This project will demonstrate that Covesion’s technology has an important contribution to make.”

The HiREP project began in October 2021 and will run over an 18-month timeframe.