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Research Group

Hybrid Quantum Networks Lab

An optical table with components such as lasers, tapered amplifiers, optical fibers and various free-space optics and optomechanics.

We research quantum light-matter interactions between atomic ensembles and single photons. We aim to merge these systems to form large-scale quantum photonic networks for processing over global distances.


Our research focuses on the development and implementation of a quantum optical memory. This is a device that can take a quantum state of light (e.g. a single photon), store it for an arbitrary length of time, and recall the state efficiently in a noise-free fashion, preserving the quantum nature. A quantum memory would bring clear and immediate impact to the quantum information processing community for large-scale quantum networking, particularly, being useful in the context of quantum computation and the Quantum Internet.  

Atomic based systems provide a platform for the implementation of quantum optical memories. An atom or an atomic ensemble absorbs the quantum state of light, storing it as an atomic coherence which can be read out back to a light field at a later time defined by the user. An on-going challenge is to implement this efficiently, free of noise, with broad acceptance bandwidth and long storage time. We focus on two differing platforms:  

  • Cryogenically-cooled Rare Earth Ion Doped Solids
  • Hot Alkali Vapours 

We aim to interface with single-photon sources based on:

  • Parametric down-conversion in nonlinear media for heralded single-photon operation 
  • Semiconductor quantum dot light sources for deterministic operation 

People, projects and publications


Dr Patrick Ledingham PhD

Associate Professor

Research interests

  • - Quantum light-matter interactions
  • - Alkali vapour quantum memories
  • - Rare-earth-ion quantum memories

Accepting applications from PhD students

Connect with Patrick

Dr Vanderli Laurindo Junior

Research Fellow
Connect with Vanderli

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Building 46, Highfield Campus, SO17 1BJ,  Southampton, United Kingdom