18 May 2023
Sparrow Quantum Aps of Copenhagen, Denmark has secured DKK31m (€4.1m) in a seed funding round led by London-based venture capital firm 2xN joined by LIFTT and the European Innovation Council (EIC).
Sparrow Quantum targets light-matter interfaces for quantum technologies by bringing foundational quantum photonic components to market. Deterministic light-matter interfaces have widespread applications in quantum technology; they constitute foundational hardware allowing fully secure quantum communication, a quantum internet for wiring up the world with quantum entanglement, or a scalable quantum computer based on photons.
Based on indium arsenide/gallium arsenide (InAs/GaAs) quantum dot structures embedded in photonic crystal waveguides emitting at wavelengths of 920–980nm, Sparrow’s first product is an on-chip (3mmx3mm) single-photon source that provides long strings of more than 100 single photons without deteriorating quality and at a rate of more than 20 million single photons per second in fiber that can be directly deployed for, for example, multi-photon quantum simulations or quantum key distribution experiments. Offering what is claimed to be record efficiency and photon indistinguishability, Sparrow’s single-photon sources are expected to promote new avenues for research and enable photonic quantum technology researchers to conduct their experiments more efficiently and cost-effectively. Furthermore, Sparrow plans to become a trusted component provider in the quantum industry supply chain by teaming up with developers of quantum technology systems to incorporate its single-photon sources into large-scale commercial quantum systems.
Sparrow’s technology results from over two decades of research by founder professor Peter Lodahl and his quantum photonics research group at the Niels Bohr Institute (NBI) in Copenhagen. Lodahl was the first to demonstrate that light emission can be fully controlled using intricate photonic nanostructures. He currently heads the Hybrid Quantum Networks Hy-Q Center of Excellence, which is developing new quantum hardware for quantum-information science, such as deterministic single-photon sources, spin-photon interfaces, and photonic quantum gates.
Accelerating product development and expanding the team
With this seed investment, Sparrow Quantum aims to accelerate the development of its products and services, expand its team, and strengthen its position in quantum light-matter interfaces and next-generation single-photon sources for commercial quantum technologies.
“Thanks to this investment, we can continue to develop our single-photon source and accelerate its market entry,” says Lodahl. “Moreover, we can start executing our roadmap of how to make our foundational technology the chosen approach in advanced quantum systems applications within quantum communication and quantum computing.”
“This funding will allow us to advance our development of light-matter interfaces for commercial quantum technologies and bring our next-generation products to market faster,” says Sparrow’s CEO Kurt Stokbro.