Quantum Systems

At Fraunhofer IAF, research is conducted on diamond-based devices and innovative solutions for future topics in the field of quantum computing and quantum sensor technology.


We research and develop semiconductor devices and electronic components for controlling and manipulating color centers in diamond, which are used as qubits for quantum computing and as atomic sensors for quantum sensing.

For quantum computing, we are researching how nitrogen-vacancy (NV) centers in diamond can be used to realize, stabilize, manipulate, and entangle individual qubits into a larger quantum register to perform quantum gate operations. To harness quantum computing, further important components are software and industrial applications. Therefore, we also conduct research in the fields of quantum software engineering, as well as hybrid quantum applications and algorithms.

For quantum sensing, we are exploring technological methods to use color centers to measure magnetic fields with high sensitivity for applications in nanoelectronics, navigation, and biomedicine.

Important core competences for the use of these quantum states are the material development for diamond-based devices as well as our expertise in optoelectronics and microwave technology, which we use to excite the color centers on the atomic level and develop further for this purpose.

What we offer

A low-noise amplifier (70 – 116 GHz), with an average noise temperature of 30 K, produced with Fraunhofer IAF’s 3 5 nm metamorphic HEMT technology
© Fraunhofer IAF
A low-noise amplifier (70 – 116 GHz), with an average noise temperature of 30 K, produced with Fraunhofer IAF’s 3 5 nm metamorphic HEMT technology
Cryogenic probe station
© Fraunhofer IAF
Cryogenic probe station at Fraunhofer IAF
  • Materials:
    • Growth of isotopically pure diamond crystals
    • Manufacturing of color centers in diamond
  • Components:
    • Microwave sources (1 – 5 GHz)
    • Low noise amplifiers (optimized for low temperatures)
  • Entangled qubits
    • 1-qubit and 2-quibt gates (10 nm technologies on 4“ substrates)
    • Spin- and photon-based qubit arrays
  • Quantum hardware
    • Quantum memories and quantum processors (100 nm technology)
    • Light sources, waveguides and detectors for polarized light
  • Analytics and metrology
    • Cryogenics (T = 4 K)
  • Quantum algorithms and software for individual industrial applications

Find out more about our research and development in quantum computing.

Find out more about the opportunities for collaboration within the Fraunhofer Competence Center Quantum Computing Baden-Württemberg.

Schematic visualization of a scanning probe quantum magnetometer with an NV diamond tip that can detect and visualize currents in nanoelectronic circuits.
© Fraunhofer IAF
Schematic visualization of a scanning probe quantum magnetometer with an NV diamond tip that can detect and visualize currents in nanoelectronic circuits.
  • Custom growth of synthetic diamond crystals
  • Lateral structuring of diamond; e.g. for waveguide structures or scanning probe tips
  • NV doped CVD diamond with color centers for quantum sensing, magnetometry and single photon sources
  • Application-specific development of sensor solutions based on NV centers
  • Conducting feasibility studies on quantum sensing and in particular on quantum magnetometry

Find out more about our research and development in quantum sensing.

Find out more about our Application laboratory quantum sensing.



Quantum Sensing

Several quantum magnetometers are available for customers to evaluate the innovation potential of quantum sensors for their specific requirements.


Competence Center Quantum Computing

Bringing quantum computing into application: Learn more about opportunities for collaboration at the Competence Center.


Research at Fraunhofer IAF

Find out more about our research in the field of quantum technology.

Our network

»Quantum technologies have a significant economic potential. In our view, however, there is a lack of application development. With the quantum sensor applications laboratory, Fraunhofer IAF can make a significant contribution to closing this gap between industry and basic research.«

Dr. Nils Trautmann, Head of Quantum Technologies, ZEISS


»At the Competence Center Quantum Computing Baden-Württemberg we will jointly offer platforms for training, industry workshops and hackathons to create a close cooperation and ecosystem with scientific, public and private institutions.«

Dr. Heike Riel, Head Science & Technology, Lead IBM Research Quantum Europe, IBM Research

A selection of our partners

  • Advantest Europe GmbH
  • Airbus Defence and Space GmbH
  • Attocube Systems AG
  • Bausparkasse Schwäbisch Hall AG
  • Cynora GmbH
  • Diamond Materials GmbH
  • Evatec Europe GmbH
  • JoS Quantum GmbH 
  • IBM Deutschland GmbH
  • HQS Quantum Simulations GmbH
  • Merck KGaA
  • Q.ANT GmbH
  • Quantum Brilliance
  • Robert Bosch GmbH
  • SVA System Vertrieb Alexander GmbH
  • UniCredit Bank AG
  • Wüstenrot & Württembergische AG

Fraunhofer lighthouse project »QMag«

In the »QMag« project, IAF is developing quantum magnetometers for industrial applications together with five other Fraunhofer institutes and three universities.

Further collaborations

An overview of the other alliances and clusters in which Fraunhofer IAF is represented can be found here:

  • KIT
  • University of Colorado Boulder
  • University of Freiburg
  • University of Konstanz
  • University of Leipzig
  • University of Stuttgart
  • University of Tübingen
  • Ulm University

Videos on quantum technology

Quantum computers and their applications


Quantum computing promises to be able to solve problems through highly parallel data processing that are hardly solvable with today's computing power. But how do they work and what are the differences to classical computers? This animation illustrates it.

Quantum Sensors

Quantum sensors made of diamond with a nitrogen defect enable measurements of smallest magnetic fields at room temperature. This video explains how exactly this works, and how quantum sensors can help detect faulty hard disks or nanoelectronic circuits.

Find more videos here.