Canada’s Quantum Valley


Through its Quantum Valley ecosystem partners – including Quantum Valley Investments, the University of Waterloo and its researchers – Ideas Lab has access to a collectively beneficial facility sharing model for quantum technologies. Many of these tools are highly specialized, if not unique in the world, and are capable of forming superconductors, spintronics, colour centres, sensors, and transducers which can serve as fundamental building blocks of new quantum devices.

Unique and Specialized Fabrication Tools

Omicron multi-chamber, ultra-high vacuum (UHV) deposition tool

A unique combination of two sputtering and three molecular-beam epitaxy (MBE) chambers linked to diagnostics to enable growth of high-quality topological materials, superconductors, magnetic materials, as well as proximity-enabled heterostructures with superb interface quality.

Quiet Labs

The labs housed in this recent addition to RAC2 were built to vibration, acoustic, magnetic and electromagnetic specifications making them among the quietest labs in the world. This provides a unique setting in which to build scanning quantum probes whose potential applications range from quantum materials to biomedical science.

Thin Film Deposition and Patterning Tools

These tools include Pulsed Laser Deposition (PLD) for growing high quality epitaxial single layers and heterostructures of many different quantum materials, including oxides and E-Beam lithography at 100kV for patterning nanometer scale features. Deposition tools also include a Plassys Al JJ UHV multi-chamber system for growth of Josephson junctions from Al and Al2O3 for well-controlled tunnel junctions via shadow evaporation.

2D Quantum Heterostructures Integrated Materials Assembly and Device Fabrication

Once complete, this specialized system will provide clean, precise alignment and joining compatible with 2D materials in specialized environments. This is in essence a self-contained cleanroom for 2D materials, allowing for samples to be transferred between the various stages of the nanofabrication process without exposure to the environment. Complex, three-dimensional quantum device architectures may be realized this way.

Essential Materials Characterization Tools

Photoemission Spectroscopy

State-of-the-art spin polarized ARPES and PEEM systems for characterization of electronic structure and electron momentum, with sensitivity to electron spin polarization suited for the characterization of thin films, interfaces and cleaved crystals. UHV operating at 5 K base temperature and equipped with monochromated He discharge lamp and spin-resolved detector, and future compatible to 12 eV laser source for better energy and spatial resolution.

Scanning Tunneling and Atomic Force Microscopy

A variety of STM and other scanning probe methods that are compatible with low temperature and high fields. Particularly suited for thin films and cleaved single crystals. The suite of capabilities includes and Omicron low temperature STM 4K system with STM and Q+ atomic force microscope (AFM).

Magnetic and Electron Transport Characterization

These suites of capabilities include a Magnetic Property Measurement System (MPMS) system for characterizing magnetic and superconducting samples from as low as 1.8 K and in fields up to 7 Tesla, and a Physical Property Measurement System (PPMS) capable of measuring electrical and thermal conductivities, magnetic susceptibility for temperatures down to 340 mK and at fields up to 17 Tesla. Electron transport characterization tools including a Janis continuous flow cryogenic probe station operating at 4 K, with 2.6 T magnet; an Oxford 20 T magnet with Kelvinox dilution refrigerator operating at 10 mK base temperature, and a Janis 12 T magnet with He-3 insert at 280 mK with and 2-axis Attocube rotation stage with a variable temperature insert with a single axis rotation stage for 4 K to 350 K studies.

“After a century stuck in textbooks, mind-bending quantum effects are about to power mainstream innovation”

– The Economist, 2016