Our society relies on secure communication, powerful computers and precise sensors. Basic science has shown that huge improvements in these capabilities are possible if we can utilise many single quantum objects working in concert. We can then see how to store and process huge amounts of information in a fully secure way and how to make exquisitely sensitive measurements of fields and forces. Specific types of quanta – photons, electrons, phonons – already bring new specific functions, but to realise the full promise of quantum technologies, it will be necessary to interface these systems with each other in a way that is practical and scalable. This is the focus of our programme.

ORQUID will explore the exciting new possibility of using single organic molecules as the interface between these three quanta so that they can work together as required. First, single molecules will interact with light in waveguides and cavities to generate and detect single photons, providing immediate impact in quantum photonics. Second, single molecules will detect single moving charges in nano-electronic circuits to provide quantum coherent information exchange between these charges and the external world. Third, molecules embedded in nanomechanical devices and two-dimensional materials will measure nanoscale forces and displacements, which are key to developing mechanical quantum systems and understanding nano- machinery. By developing these three interfaces on a common platform, we will create a versatile hybrid system. By allowing the user to draw simultaneously on the most sensitive quantum aspects of light, charge and sound, we anticipate that this hybrid will be a major advance in the technology of quantum devices.

This project has received funding from. the EraNET Cofund Initiatives QuantERA under the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme grant agreement n° 731473.