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Quantum science

The quantum era is upon us
Building a quantum computer is one of the grand challenges of the 21st century. Only through national and global cooperation in quantum science will we deliver useful quantum machines.

At the University of Sydney our approach is global, collaborative and visionary.

As the quantum machines we are building come online, they will help us tackle challenging problems in chemical and medicine design, materials science, computer modelling, renewable energy, security and cryptography.

Classical computers of the 20th century have been pushed to their limits helping us design solutions for such problems. We are now on the brink of building a new generation of machines based on the unusual and powerful properties of matter at the smallest scales.

At the University of Sydney, we are developing quantum technologies applicable for systems using superconductors, semiconductors, trapped ions and topological devices. By being invested across the board in quantum technology we have created a rich intellectual environment that is much more than the sum of its parts.

Our University is now one of the global centres of excellence in quantum computing.

The University’s partnership with Microsoft alone represents the largest single investment in quantum engineering in Australian history. But our approach is much broader.

We have teams working in theory, experiment and engineering in fields including quantum chemistry, quantum information, quantum simulation and control systems, and inventing the crucial elements that will allow classical systems to interact with quantum machines.

The quantum science team is based at the $150 million Sydney Nanoscience Hub, which is among the best facilities in the world for quantum research.

Together we are working towards common goals in the best research and teaching environment for quantum technologies in Australia.

Related research programs

Quantum computation and information theory

What exotic properties of quantum mechanics give quantum computers their power? How do we scale up that weirdness from the size of an atom to the size of a mainframe? Our theory team led by Professor Stephen BartlettProfessor Andrew Doherty, Dr Xanthe CrootDr Tingrei Tan and Dr Robert Wolf exploits the latest results from quantum materials, the mathematics of topology, machine learning and even string theory to design the best quantum architectures for tomorrow's supercomputers. 

Quantum control and simulation

Controlling small ensembles of atomic ions in vacuum allows Professor Michael Biercuk’s team to learn how to control and build new technologies powered by quantum coherence. The team focuses on adapting concepts from control engineering for the manipulation of quantum devices and the development of new classes of quantum simulators for chemistry and materials science

Microsoft Quantum Laboratory

The Sydney Quantum Laboratory is one of just three experimental facilities worldwide where Microsoft is developing a quantum machine based on topological qubits. Our partnership with Microsoft Corporation is allowing Professor David Reilly’s team to transform fundamental research into commercial-scale quantum computation. Their focus is on the interface between classical and quantum systems, which will be critical for quantum machines to be scaled up to useful devices.

Quantum networks

Understanding the properties of optically active atoms in crystals allow Dr John Bartholomew's team to design interfaces between light and matter to connect qubits through optical networks. The study of materials at the atomic scale provides the knowledge for the team to engineer on-chip quantum connections between light, electronics, and atoms as a basis for a quantum internet.

Quantum photonics

The Quantum Photonics group, led by Professor Benjamin Eggleton and Associate Professor Stefano Palomba, is developing bright sources of single photons and entangled photon pairs that could be used for quantum communication, quantum computation, and interfacing other quantum technologies. To do so, they are exploiting a wide range of novel materials, including 2D media, single emitters, and integrated photonic nanostructures.

Molecular quantum science

Quantum science domain leader Dr Ivan Kassal and his group look at quantum effects in biological and chemical systems. This work has applications in the development of next-generation solar cells and other renewable energy materials; understanding energy transport in disordered systems, such as in photosynthesis; and in quantum simulation to design improved chemical reactions.

ARC Centre for Engineered Quantum Systems

The Quantum Science group at is part of the Australian Research Council’s Centre of Excellence for Engineered Quantum Systems. EQuS is building sophisticated machines that harness the quantum world for practical applications. Through EQuS we have strong collaboration with teams at the Australian National University, Macquarie University, University of Queensland and University of Western Australia, along with a host of international partners.

Nanodiamond imaging

Professor David Reilly’s quantum nanoscience team is developing technology to improve targeted delivery of drugs and improved magnetic resonance imaging. The delivery of industrial nanoscale diamonds can be used to ‘light up’ early-stage tumours in non-toxic and non-invasive MRI scans. The research has led to collaboration with Harvard University to further develop the technology.


Q-CTRL is the first venture-capital backed quantum technology company to be spun-out from the University of Sydney. Led by CEO Professor Michael Biercuk, Q-Ctrl is taking research on quantum control out of the laboratory and developing commercial software that can be used to reduce errors in quantum systems.

Sydney Quantum Academy

The Sydney Quantum Academy, established in 2019, is a partnership between The University of Sydney, University of New South Wales, University of Technology Sydney and Macquarie University, sponsored by the New South Wales government. The SQA’s overarching goal is to establish an ecosystem for education, community and industry engagement, and innovation in quantum science and technology. Amongst other things, the SQA offers a PhD Experience program in quantum science, prestigious PhD and postdoctoral scholarships, and hosts international visitors.