“Working door to door with partners”

Since February 2022, Dr. Wolfgang Klesse is head of the department Atomic-scale Fabrication of NV Centers in Diamond of Quantum Brilliance GmbH, which has rented offices and laboratories at Fraunhofer IAF within the project DE-Brill. In this interview, he explains the reasons for the cooperation, special features of the partnership and in which direction it can develop.

Dr. Wolfgang Klesse, Head of Atomic-scale Fabrication of NV-Centers in Diamond Quantum Brilliance
© Fraunhofer IAF
Dr. Wolfgang Klesse, Head of Atomic-scale Fabrication of NV-Centers in Diamond, Quantum Brilliance

Why did your team settle at Fraunhofer IAF in particular?

After the founders of Quantum Brilliance had looked around Europe and explored initial cooperation opportunities, it quickly became clear that they want to collaborate with Fraunhofer IAF on the topic of materials development. The institute has some significant unique selling points. This concerns both the infrastructure and the expertise.

What goals do you want to achieve together and how often do you exchange ideas in your practical collaboration?

The most important current goal is to develop the capacity and technology to create NV centers in diamond in a scalable way. We want to be able to produce entire chains or lattices of NV centers with very precise spacing from each other, not just one or two, but hundreds to thousands. Whenever it comes to growing, developing and characterizing diamonds, there is an intensive daily exchange between the parties involved, which is also very fluid due to the physical proximity.

What special features do you see in the cooperation?

I think that our collaboration is quite unique on several levels. For example, it is special that Quantum Brilliance is not a spin-off directly from Fraunhofer IAF. Instead, we come from the outside as a small start-up and, thanks to being housed in the same building, we can work door to door with the partners. To my knowledge, this is unprecedented.

What can Quantum Brilliance and Fraunhofer IAF learn from each other?

From our side, this concerns the entire technical and scientific expertise. For us, this is a real treasure that we can access here every day. The institute’s network at the political level is also important for us, for example when it comes to partnerships and the allocation of funding — especially for the time after DE-Brill. What Fraunhofer IAF can learn from Quantum Brilliance is best answered by the institute itself. (Laughs.)

Schlüsselübergabe und Mietvertrag mit Quantum Brilliance
© Fraunhofer IAF
Since the beginning of 2022, a team from Quantum Brilliance has been working door to door with researchers from the institute in their own office and laboratory space at Fraunhofer IAF.

What are the prospects for the collaboration in your eyes and what would you like to see in the ’shared housing’ with your colleagues at Fraunhofer IAF?

As a start-up, the greatest difficulty is, of course, to foresee where the journey will take us. But the fact that we are setting up labs here reflects our long-term commitment. I think that applies to both sides. What I would wish for is a bit more courage from both sides: to simply knock and exchange ideas spontaneously, regardless of the project work. On the other hand, there are already nice examples of successful get-togethers: It works very well in the coffee kitchen in particular. It is like at a party: You always meet in the kitchen. (Laughs.)

Further Information

Quantum systems at Fraunhofer IAF


An overview of Fraunhofer IAF's competences in the field of quantum systems is available here.


Annual Report 2022/23: “Collaborations”

Collaborations in research, industry and politics for jointly exploring the technologies of tomorrow