The Nanotechnology Sector is set to Serve the Quantum Computing Industry. One Company, with its Blue-Chip Client Case, is Already There

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The Rise of Nanotechnology

There can be no doubt nanotechnology will be an area of technology that will grow in demand as the popularity of quantum computing (QC) rises.

With several companies already on the scene such as Archer Materials from Australia leading the way, it is only a matter of time before more appear in the industry.

One company that has been doing this for more than two decades is KNT (Kelvin Nanotechnology). Based in Glasgow, Scotland, the company’s focus is to deliver advanced photonics and quantum components.


CEO and member of the KNT board are Brendan Casey and COO Gordon Mills.

KNT was one of the first on the market to supply miniaturized quantum components. These include 3D ion traps, grating MOTs, MEMS gravimeters, and specialist DFB lasers. KNT’s customer base — which it has nurtured over the last three years — comprises some 170 companies in 23 countries, many of them global blue-chip concerns.

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‘Components at the heart of the quantum future.’


Headquartered at the James Watt Nanofabrication Centre (JWNC) in Glasgow, the three main areas where KNT can provide services to its client base are in:

 — Electron Beam Lithography

 — Technology Prototyping and Proof of Concept

 — Quantum Components

The last one is very interesting, for it addresses — as mentioned earlier — the rise of QC and the future need for components to service that industry.

As ‘a globally recognized supplier of quantum devices and components’, KNT’s key product here is its Magneto-Optical Trap Gratings (gMOT), a ‘Diffractive Optical Element that improves ease of alignment, setup and miniaturization for cold atom source creation compared to conventional 6-beam MOTs’.

Heading all this is Brendan Casey. With a Ph.D. in bioelectronics from the University of Glasgow, Casey has worked his way up the KNT ladder. Starting off as a senior engineer in the early 2000s, he was also a business manager before becoming CEO in 2011. He is also director /trustee of the Glasgow-based Institute of Nanotechnology.


With a Ph.D. in electronic and electrical engineering from the University of Glasgow, Gordon Mills’ career trajectory has followed a similar path at KNT as his colleague Casey. Periods as a senior engineer and business manager, he reached COO in the same year Casey became CEO.

With a burgeoning QC industry on the horizon, it looks like there won’t be any lack of customers for KNT’s hardware offerings in the future.

James Dargan

James Dargan is a writer and researcher at The Quantum Insider. His focus is on the QC startup ecosystem and he writes articles on the space that have a tone accessible to the average reader.

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