The new headquarters of the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo was opened on 21, September 2012. Over 1,000 guests and dignitaries attended the opening ceremony of the Mike & Ophelia Lazaridis Quantum-Nano Centre.
The state-of-the-art building will be shared between the IQC and the Waterloo Institute for Nanotechnology (WIN). Both these institutes are involved in research relating to atoms, photons, electrons and other nano-scale elements.
Prof. Stephen Hawking, who attended the ceremony, stated that it was an honor to celebrate the occasion along with his colleagues.
Mike Lazaridis, who donated over $100 million for the project, commented that the research conducted at the new facility will transform the region and the world. The Waterloo Region may come to be known as The Quantum Valley due to creation of new companies.
Advanced technology and rigorous scientific standards have been incorporated in the design of the building. It is designed to restrain or limit electromagnetic radiation, temperature fluctuations and vibration. A 6,700 sq.ft cleanroom/fabrication facility has been constructed with a separate foundation. Shock-absorbing material is embedded deeply into this foundation which curtails vibrations to within a micrometer. This will prevent vibration, even if the main building does undergo some vibrations.
WIN’s Executive Director, Arthur Carty, stated that nanotechnology will enable building new quantum devices using nanomaterials. Nanotechnology will become the bridge to quantum, Carty said.
The research at the Quantum-Nano Centre is expected to lead to highly precise nanotechnologies, advanced cryptography and very powerful quantum computers.