Quantum Technologies

Development of new quantum sensor and quantum communications technologies that deliver unprecedented sensor performance and communications security. UWA are world leaders in low-noise precision measurement involving frequency, time and quantum systems.

Capabilities and UWA Competitive Advantage

  • Precision patented technology based on hybrid photon-spin polaritons, which could in principle be used for highly sensitive measurements of the magnetic field, or wideband agile low-noise oscillators for radar and datacomms.
  • Expertise in low-noise precision and quantum measurements, low temperature physics and hybrid quantum systems.
  • Advanced mathematical methods and numerical techniques to model the dynamics of quantum systems and investigate quantum algorithms providing new possibilities for communication and data processing.
  • New smaller sensors based on quantum and magnetic technologies with faster and more energy efficient electronics for communications, data processing/storage and for field-, substance-, gas- and bio-sensing.
  • Miniaturized gravity gradiometer with improved performance and capable of being deployed from uncrewed fast-moving platforms like UAVs, both airborne and submersibles.
  • Interferometric Electromagnetic Gradiometer is ultra-sensitive and measures electromagnetic signatures created by submarines when they are silent and no acoustic tracking is possible. The system can be easily fit into fast moving uncrewed submarine hunters such as drones, UAVs & AUVs.
  • Microwave sensors that are ultra-sensitive and can localise radio frequency magnetic fields into a tiny volume with a range of applications.
  • Precision oscillators and clocks including the world’s best microwave oscillator which has been used in Raytheon’s most precise and sensitive defence radar systems.

Key contact

Professor Michael Tobar
Director, Quantum Technologies and Dark Matter Research Lab
Phone: +61 8 6488 3915
Email: michael.tobar@uwa.edu.au

Outcomes and Impact

  • Developed the lowest noise microwave measurement and oscillator technology in the world, necessary for application in the best precision frequency systems, such as atomic clocks and atomic qubits, resulting in systems operating at the quantum projection noise limit. These inventions were responsible for the products sold by Poseidon Scientific Instruments Pty Ltd (now owned by Raytheon).
  • Developed technology to transfer stable frequencies over free-space, useful for timing, GPS navigation and datacomms applications.  Variations of this technology have also been used in advanced radar systems, and to build ultra-sensitive sensors to detect magnetic, electric and gravitational observables.
  • Patented novel hybrid opto-mechanical technology to miniaturise a device to measure gravity gradients, useful for the detection of tunnels.
  • Patented a new type of quantum hybrid sensing element for an intrinsic gravity gradiometer (IGG) for use in sensing variation in a gravity field at a location.


  • The Quantum technologies and Dark Matter Research Lab (QDM Lab) – precision measurement instrumentation and expertise in a wide range of experiments including highly sensitive searches for axion dark matter, Lorentz invariance violations, and changes in fundamental constants.
  • UWA & Pawsey Quantum Computing Centre (UP-QCC) – hosts two educational desktop quantum computers, the two-qubit SpinQ Gemini and the three-qubit SpinQ Triangulum system to enable students, researchers and professionals to upskill in quantum computing and engage with Pawsey’s Quantum Supercomputing Innovation Hub.
  • Centre for Microscopy, Characterisation and Analysis – world class electron, ion, light imaging and microanalysis facilities, including flagship ion probe and MRI facilities
  • WA node of the Australian National Fabrication Facility – a complete, vertically integrated facility, from materials growth, through device design, fabrication and testing, to packaging and subsystem assembly, for advanced microelectronic, optoelectronic, and photonic materials, devices and systems (including quantum).