Santosh Mutum - DR project

Wireless Laser-based Power Transfer and Communication into a Cryostat Chamber

Doctoral Researcher: Santosh Mutum
Local ZEA-2 Supervisor: Christian Grewing
Academic Supervisor: Stefan van Waasen, University of Duisburg-Essen (UDE)
Topic: Quantum Computing
Research Field: Information

Santosh Mutum's DR project
Figure 1. Illustration of photonic link concept [4].

Thermally sensitive devices like qubits in quantum computers are maintained in cryogenic environments to minimize the impact of thermal disturbances. For quantum computers, it is crucial to minimize the power consumption and electronic interference within the cryogenic chamber to keep the qubits at millikelvin temperatures as well as to ensure a stable operation. Conversely, high-frequency signals with significant energy are required to effectively control qubits [1]. Such contemporary large-scale systems operating at low temperatures require robust signal connections between the core of the cooled system and external components operating at room temperature [2]. However, conventional coaxial cables introduce noise and create a thermal bridge, making wireless communication and power transfer systems using specialized laser-photodiodes setup a promising approach. The system harnesses laser energy for power supply and simultaneously can receive data modulated onto the laser beam [3]. An integrated circuit capable of controlling the biasing of the photovoltaics-photodiodes manages both functions. This laser-photovoltaics-photodiodes system, which has been extensively researched for multidisciplinary applications, is also suitable for various other ultra-low power applications.
This research is conducted within the QSolid project (

Aim of the Research

Figure 2: Block diagram of cryo-photonic communication.

The primary objective of the study is to establish a thermally isolated photonic communication system for both uplink and downlink data transfer in a cryogenic environment, with signal recovery facilitated by an IC. Therefore, it is crucial to optimize the performance of modulated lasers, as well as the efficiency of photodiodes, while employing a low-power biasing IC when operating in a cryogenic environment. Another significant research aspect is the exploration of utilizing an electro-optic modulator in the cryogenic environment to address the challenge of uplink communication within a limited power budget.

Alternate Application

Santosh Mutum's DR project
Figure 3. ET wireless main optics approach.

The Einstein Telescope (ET) is a third generation gravitational-wave observatory designed to explore the cosmic history by measuring gravitational waves. To cool its main optics to temperatures of 10-20K, a cryogenic system is employed. The ET also requires a sensor-actuator system for precise optics adjustment without adding heat or disturbances. Therefore, a wireless communication and power transfer system utilizing laser-photovoltaics-photodiodes system is a promising approach within the cryostat chamber.


[1] B. Patra et al., “19.1 A Scalable Cryo-CMOS 2-to-20GHz Digitally Intensive Controller for 4×32 Frequency Multiplexed Spin Qubits/Transmons in 22nm FinFET Technology for Quantum Computers,” in 2020 IEEE International Solid- State Circuits Conference - (ISSCC), San Francisco, CA, USA: IEEE, Feb. 2020, pp. 304–306. doi: 10.1109/ISSCC19947.2020.9063109.
[2] J. Wang et al., “34.1 THz Cryo-CMOS Backscatter Transceiver: A Contactless 4 Kelvin-300 Kelvin Data Interface,” in 2023 IEEE International Solid- State Circuits Conference (ISSCC), San Francisco, CA, USA: IEEE, Feb. 2023, pp. 504–506. doi: 10.1109/ISSCC42615.2023.10067445.
[3] W. Fu, H. Wu, and M. Feng, “Superconducting Processor Modulated VCSELs for 4K High-Speed Optical Data Link,” IEEE J. Quantum Electron., vol. 58, no. 2, pp. 1–8, Apr. 2022, doi: 10.1109/JQE.2022.3149512.
[4] F. Lecocq, F. Quinlan, K. Cicak, J. Aumentado, S. A. Diddams, and J. D. Teufel, “Control and readout of a superconducting qubit using a photonic link,” Nature, vol. 591, no. 7851, pp. 575–579, Mar. 2021, doi: 10.1038/s41586-021-03268-x.

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Last Modified: 11.07.2023