(PhysicsWorld) The product development team at Oxford Instruments NanoScience is set for a busy year after registering the first industry and academic installations of Proteox, a next-generation dilution refrigerator designed for applications in quantum computing R&D and ultra-low-temperature condensed-matter physics. The customers: Oxford Quantum Circuits (OQC), a University of Oxford start-up that’s pioneering a “quantum computing as a service” (QCaaS) business model, and the University of Glasgow’s quantum circuits group, a multidisciplinary research team working at the frontiers of quantum science, technology and application.
Oxford Instruments NanoScience is a division of parent group Oxford Instruments, a diversified and long-established UK provider of specialist technologies and services to research and industry. The NanoScience business unit, for its part, designs and manufactures research tools to support the development, scale-up and commercialization of next-generation quantum technologies.
It’s with this quantum opportunity front-and-centre that the fundamentals of the Proteox dilution refrigerator have been reimagined to support multiple scientific users and a variety of ultra-low-temperature experiments from a single system operating in the mK regime. That scalability is achieved with a side-loading “secondary insert” module that allows samples, communications wiring and signal-conditioning components – basically full experimental set-ups – to be installed and changed whenever necessary.
The development of Proteox looks to be well-timed, tapping as it does the growing technology push and commercial pull within the “quantum economy” – not least in the UK. Last year, for example, a research/industry consortium led by OQC, and including Oxford Instruments NanoScience, secured £7 million in funding from Innovate UK, the UK’s innovation agency, to fast-track the commercialization of superconducting quantum technologies.

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