Industry Support

Industry Support | Nanofabrication | Infrastructure

Research at SBQMI has the potential to spark breakthroughs with applications in quantum computing, telecommunications, clean energy, health and much more.

But for this value to flow from the laboratory to the wider world, tangible progress must be communicated and transferred to industry. With funding from CFREF, and thanks to a dedicated Business Development team, SBQMI has been able to leverage local, national, and global connections to enhance and accelerate the translation of our quantum materials research to the business world. By supporting the development of industry partnerships, securing intellectual property rights for device patents, and opening our labs and resources to both academic and industry partners, SBQMI is bringing cutting-edge science and technology forward to meet industry needs. Below are some key examples of industry collaborations.

Industry Partnerships
SBQMI's George Sawatzky and his team are providing theory and modelling support for the development of an electronic switch potentially capable of replicating neuron/synapse functionality with the goal of enabling true meuromorphic computing. This three-year project titled "Synapses and Neurons Using Correlated Electron Devices (SyNCED)" is being supported with funding from the US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), and undertaken with industry partner, Applied Materials, a US-based leader in material engineering solutions used in innovative chip and display technology. 

SiEPICfab: the Canadian Silicon Photonics Foundry
In 2018, under Lukas Chrostowski's leadership, we established our first formal industry consortium: SiEPICfab. The consortium is an organic extension of the SiEPIC research training program that has roots dating back to 2007, and was funded via an NSERC-CREATE grant between 2012 and 2018. The training program has offered 20 workshops to date, and taught more than 315 students from 34 different universities. In response to the slow turnaround times and the high cost of using international foundries, researchers in the SiEPIC training program decided to create a consortium to pool resources and find a way to meet their needs together.

SiEPICfab’s goal is to fabricate and demonstrate novel photonic devices and functions for emerging applications, such as quantum computing, 5G wireless communications, chip-scale switching networks, and Internet of Things (IoT) technology.

By making leading-edge silicon photonic manufacturing accessible to Canadian and international academic and industry partners, SiEPICfab will help fast-track the development of rapid prototyping and device fabrication for users.

Intellectual Property and Patents
SBQMI supports faculty members in their application for device patents.

Phase-sweeping Photonic Switch

Ray Chung, Zeqin Lu, Hasitha Jayatilleka, Mohammed Wadah Altaha, Sudip Shekhar, Shahriar Mirabbasi, Lukas Chrostowski

A photonic switch that enables a light path to work in a manner similar to a network router in order to intelligently direct information within a network. The patent for this device includes a method and apparatus for monitoring and feedback control of a photonic switch that involves the use of a time-varying phase shift.

Optical Switch

Dritan Celo, Lukas Chrostowski, Eric Bernier, Yun Wang

Quantum physics offers new ways to enhance the performance of optical-communication systems. This device is an optical device that transmits and converts electrical signals into an optical form in order to place the resulting signal into an optical fibre.

Vacuum Tube Electron Microscope

R. Fabian, W. Pease, Manu Prakash, James S. Cybulski, Alireza Nojeh

Shining a low-powered laser on a readily-available carbon nanomaterial causes highly-localized heating and the subsequent emission of electrons. These electrons can be used to generate images in a manner analogous to an electron microscope, but with greatly reduced energy requirements. Scanning images using a mechanically-manipulated stage or by point projection removes the need for the electron beam to be scanned electromagnetically during operation, thereby simplifying the overall design. Other design features, including a permanently-sealed vacuum and remote image processing software, further develops the potential for a portable and inexpensive scanning electron microscope.

Palladium Membrane Reactor

Curtis Berlinguette, Rebecca Sherbo, Aiko Kurimoto

A thin palladium foil as the cathode of an electrochemical cell can be used to mediate the cost-efficient upgrading of small molecule starting materials using benign reagents and under mild conditions. The system takes advantage of the unique material properties of palladium as selectively permeable to hydrogen atoms to cleanly and selectively convert alkynes to either alkenes or alkanes using water as the only reagent. By replacing water with heavy water (D2O) in the electrochemical compartment of the cell, the UBC team discovered that this system could be used to generate deuterated reagents that are of relevance to a new class of pharmaceuticals with improved metabolic properties.


For media inquiries or further information, please email Karl Jessen.