Paul van Gerven
18 December 2023

Quantum research at Leiden University has led to the launch of startup Quantamap, which focuses on developing metrology and diagnostic tools for the quantum industry. “Our unique sensors and quantum-first approach put us years ahead of any emerging competitive techniques,” says CEO Johannes Jobst.

While studying quantum materials, the physicist Kaveh Lahabi realized he didn’t have the right tools. “I’ll need a new type of microscope that can measure not just one parameter but many at the same time: currents, magnetism, temperature, microwave frequencies, and surface structure. And all that with nanometer resolution,” Lahabi explains.

Credit: Leiden University

Such a tool would be useful for developers of quantum chips as well, particularly for finding out which component failed and why. Quantamap has developed a quantum sensor that integrates into the probe of a microscope. When the probe scans the surface of a sample, the sensor measures properties like the current, temperature and magnetic field in parallel.

The technology that the researchers develop will allow chip manufacturers to closely inspect each chip to assure and improve its quality. Alternatives are available, but they tend to disturb qubits while measuring or they damage the chip. Quantamap’s solution works at extremely low temperatures to ensure the operating conditions of the chip are maintained during imaging.

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Quantamap was established one year ago but only now emerged from stealth. The young firm has secured 1.4 million euros in funding so far.