14 December 2021 Stéphanie Dubreuil

The IQ Focuses on four Projects to Bring its Community Together

Photo : Photo : Michel Caron UdeS


As a result of a reflection and a process to bring its members together, the Institut quantique (IQ) is embracing a new vision for the future with its promising projects, which break down the barriers between researchers and mobilize the expertise of the entire community, with the purpose of achieving major scientific spin-offs.

“We have now passed the mid-term milestone of the Canada First Research Excellence Fund (CFREF) grant program. This review stage was an invitation to ensure that our research directions and projects remain relevant in a fast-paced scientific field. Our scientists were asked to imagine the future to shape the content of their research projects. Although the way in which projects were selected was different, the criteria remained the same: to create unifying projects with new and ambitious ideas that explore the possibilities of multi-faculty collaborations. The next phase of the project promises to be exciting,” says Alexandre Blais, IQ’s Scientific Director.

The IQ scientific community publishes at a rate of more than 75 scientific papers per year, more than half of which are in international collaboration. Of these 75 articles, an average of 15 are published in high-impact journals and an average of five patents are obtained by IQ scientists per year. In total, IQ invests more than $3 million in these research projects with tremendous potential.

“The process that led to the selection of these projects was challenging and our entire community took the exercise very seriously. We called on the services of the Accélérateur Entrepreneurial Desjardins (AED) to help us think outside the box and ensure that everyone’s voice was heard. This is a very stimulating period from a scientific point of view,” says Michel Pioro-Ladrière, Deputy Director of IQ.

The Projects

Cuprate superconductors as ultra quantum matter: New tools and discoveries

Plankian dissipation and the new topological superconducting state will be the two phenomena that the research team will study, with the goal of shedding light on electron pairing in cuprates and the nature of the pseudogap phase.

Their findings could revolutionize the energy, health and transportation sectors, and the technologies developed could be applied to other classes of quantum materials, or even to artificial systems and materials.

Harnessing emergent excitations in quantum materials

In an attempt to answer some of the most important questions in the field of quantum materials, the team will try to obtain compelling evidence for emergent excitations in quantum materials. They will focus on quantum spin liquids that may exhibit exotic emergent excitations, including anyons.

In the long term, the project could lead to the development of new research techniques on quantum materials as well as lay the groundwork for applications in quantum computing and spintronics.

Enabling technologies for the quantum Internet

Several major challenges remain to this day with respect to the technologies needed to realize the quantum computer. These include quantum transducers and quantum memories, technologies that the research team will focus on, with the goal of connecting remote quantum processors to form a quantum Internet.

The development of key elements for the quantum Internet would have a major impact on three main application pillars: secure communication, quantum computing and quantum sensors.

Table-Top Particle Physics

This project aims to solve one of the great mysteries of physics using quantum technologies developed at the IQ: the nature of dark matter.

Quantum technologies offer a promising avenue for the study of particle physics. Conversely, the team will test how high-energy particles affect the coherence of quantum devices.

A long-term perspective

In addition to showcasing the expertise of the members of the Institut quantique, these projects will allow the establishment of new collaborations with key players in the field of quantum science, as well as in other fields.

The advances in fundamental and applied research resulting from these projects will greatly contribute to the recruitment and training of young scientists, who will master tools and methods that can be applied in various fields.

Since the projects bring together most IQ members, they highlight the complementarity of the various expertise in a collaborative context. These projects represent what the Institut quantique will focus on over the next few years, and will represent it as a leader in the field of quantum science.

Additional information

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