Artists' impression of an optical setup with a quantum pair of entangled photons.

Quantum Hub Thuringia

Artists' impression of an optical setup with a quantum pair of entangled photons.
Image: Markus Gräfe

The promise and emergence of quantum technologies

The emergence of quantum technologies, using the fundamental quantum effects of superposition and entanglement, is holding solid promise for a range of breakthrough applications with high societal impact. Spe­cific examples are the encoding of unbreakable messages using quantum cryptography or orders-of-magnitude faster quantum computers. These potentials are recognized world­wide, leading to great strategic funding initiatives, and particularly in the European Union and Germany.

Laboratory setup for quantum imaging. Image: Walter Oppel/Fraunhofer IOF.

Quantum Hub Thuringia - communication, sensing and imaging

The Quantum Hub Thuringia is jointly coordinated from Jena and Ilmenau. It pursues the mission to work on fundamental scientific questions in the areas of quantum communication, quantum sensing and quantum imaging and thus to shape the upcoming technological upheaval in quantum technologies for the Free State of Thuringia as a future perspective. The consortium of the Quantum Hub Thuringia is formed by

  • the Abbe Center of Photonics of the Friedrich Schiller University Jena,
  • the Technical University of Ilmenau,
  • the DLR Institute of Data Science Jena,
  • the Helmholtz Institute Jena,
  • the Leibniz Institute of Photonic Technology IPHT Jena,
  • the Fraunhofer Institute of Applied Optics and Precision Engineering IOF Jena,
  • the Fraunhofer Institute for Digital Media Technology IDMT Ilmenau,
  • the Fraunhofer Institute for Microelectronic and Mechatronic Systems IMMS Ilmenau,
  • the Fraunhofer Project Hub for Microelectronic and Optical Systems for Biomedicine Erfurt,
  • the Cis Research Institute of Microsensing GmbH Erfurt.
Quantum Hub Thüringen. Image: Johannes Kretzschmar / FSU Jena.

Thuringia's current and future role in quantum photonics

Compared to other international quantum photonics hotspots, Thuringia's individual strength lies in our demonstrated ability to fuse multiple expertises to integrate available enabling technologies into a combined research effort to open up new platforms and integrated systems exploiting quantum technologies. One recent example is the generation of non-classical states of light, e.g. photon pairs, by spontaneous nonlinear processes in nonlinear pho­tonic systems ranging from bulk crystals over different wave­guide structures to nanostructured or atomically thin surfaces. This understanding can be used to tailor the properties of the generated two-photon quantum states, like spectrum, spa­tial distribution, and entanglement, to meet the demands of specific applications. Another very active research focus is the development of novel quantum light sources for applications in quantum communication and sensing, efficient process­ing and detection schemes for high-dimensional quantum information, as well as scalable methods for the transmission of quantum states over long distances.

The fundamental research addressed by the Quantum Hub Thuringia will enable the Thuringian industry to take a lead position in the international quantum technological value chain and to contribute significantly to disruptive innovation steps within emerging quantum technologies in communication, sensing and imaging.

Adjustement of the probe pulse at a laser-particle-acceleration experiment. Image: Jens Meyer (University of Jena)

The Quantum Hub Thuringia is supported by the Free State of Thuringia under the funding IDs 2021 FGI 0043 (research module) and 2021 IZN 0026 (coordination module). Alltogether, the nine partnering institutions with the Hub are receiving up to EUR 6 million from May 1st 2021 unteil December 31st 2023. For more information, please contact the spokesperson of the Quantum Hub Thuringia, Prof. Andreas Tünnermann ( or the managing responsible person at the Abbe Center of Photonics in Jena, Dr. Christian Helgert (

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