Welcome to the Hybrid Quantum Networks Lab led by Dr Patrick M Ledingham. We are part of the Quantum, Light and Matter Group in the School of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Southampton, United Kingdom. The group was formed in July 2020.

Our research interests lie in quantum light-matter interactions between atomic ensembles (based on rare-earth-ion-doped solids and alkali vapours) and single photons (generated from quantum dots and nonlinear media). Our research aims to merge these disparate systems to form large-scale quantum photonic networks for the processing of quantum information over global distances.


  • 07 October 2021 – One year on and HQNL has evolved! Optical table occupied, experiments operational, name on office door, and soon a new lab space to move into in the new year to begin our UKRI FLF journey – watch this space!
  • 02 October 2021 – HQNL is now advertising for two postdoctoral researchers to join the team Early 2022! One position focuses on advancing quantum light sources in the telecoms band with compatibility to GHz-bandwidth quantum memories (link here). The other position focuses on building and exploiting telecom-compatible quantum optical memories for telecoms light-matter interfaces (link here). Come join our team to work on our UKRI-funded project ‘A High-Performance Light-Matter Quantum Network’. Spread the word!
  • 08 September 2021 – Patrick has found success in securing a highly prestigious UKRI Future Leaders Fellowship. The project aims to build and exploit a High-Performance Light-Matter Quantum Network comprising ensemble-based quantum memories and single photons from quantum dots and non-linear crystals. There are great project partners onboard: ORCA Computing, Quandela and the FAST Group of Prof. Roberto Osellame., as well as strong mentors in Prof PGR Smith and Prof IA Walmsley. UKRI contribute approximately £1.3 million over 4 years to achieve our ambitious goals. Fantastic news for HQNL!
  • 09 August 2021 – Patrick represents HQNL at Imperial College London with an online group seminar to the Quantum Measurement Lab led by Dr Michael Vanner. A pleasure to do so, looking forward to future visits and collaborations!
  • 14 June 2021 – Two papers published in Optics Letters at the same time! [1] We demonstrate for the first time a GHz-bandwidth (~4 GHz) light storage in cryogenically cooled Pr:YSO. [2] We perform the atomic frequency comb protocol using a room-temperature platform – caesium vapour – a world’s first! *Update: [2] was later selected as an Editor’s Pick!

  • 24 May 2021 – Ollie represents HQNL strongly at the QLM Seminar giving a talk about his MPhys Year of Experimental Physics project. A very nice talk and some decent results too! Well done Ollie!

  • 05 May 2021 – HQNL does atomic state dressing! Preliminary evidence of Autler-Townes Splitting in warm Rb87 vapour. More characterisation to follow. Big effort from both Ollie and Zak to get to this point, well done!

  • 12 April 2021 – New paper published in Physical Review A! We prepare the ground state of an ensemble of Caesium atoms in a way that depends on the what the velocity of a given atom is – velocity selective optical pumping! See here for more details.

  • 12 March 2021 – HQNL involved in outreach activities! Zak giving a small tour of the lab for Future Photonics Hub. Well done Zak!
  • 15 December 2020 – HQNL does optical pumping!

  • 23 November 2020 – After some lab down time we now have air conditioning!
  • 07 November 2020 – Two new papers on the arXiv! We demonstrate the atomic frequency comb quantum memory protocol in a room-temperature caesium vapour (link) using velocity selective optical pumping (link).
  • 29 October 2020 – Progress: our first rubidium spectrum!
  • 19 October 2020Zakary Schofield joins the Hybrid Quantum Networks Lab as a PhD student. Welcome to the team Zakary!
  • 09 October 2020 – Operations ramping up with a few pieces of equipment arriving in HQNL!
  • 05 October 2020Oliver Green joins the Hybrid Quantum Networks Lab to complete his MPhys Physics with a Year of Experimental Research. Welcome Oliver!
  • 01 October 2020 – We have the keys to the lab! A clean slate to begin building and exploiting hybrid light-matter interactions for quantum networking!
  • 01 July 2020 – The Hybrid Quantum Networks Lab is established.