CQC²T early career researcher Jie Zhao won first prize in the prestigious Light: Science and Applications journal ‘Rising Stars of Light’ Competition 2019.

Competing against nine other finalists, including participants from many elite international research institutions, the former CQC²T PhD student from ANU was announced as the winner of the competition at the Light Conference 2019.

The annual ‘Rising Stars of Light’ award is organised by Light: Science and Applications, a journal from the Nature Publishing Group, and is an international competition which encourages young researchers in the community of optics to publish their outstanding research.

Jie Zhao was selected as a top 10 finalist by the Award Selection Committee, which included journal editors and the Light Conference chairs, for her article on a high-fidelity quantum squeezing gate. The finalists were invited to attend the Light Conference in Changchun, China on July 16-18, 2019, where they presented a summary of their research to a panel of experts, resulting in Ms Zhao taking out first place.

“I was really impressed by the research work of the other competitors. They are from world-wide distinguished research groups. Thanks to this competition, I made friends with many of them and we will be in touch in the future to seek for potential collaborations. “ says Ms Zhao.

Zhao’s research aims to enhance the transmission distance of quantum communication and realise high-fidelity quantum gate operations for universal quantum computation.

Despite the advances in the burgeoning field of quantum information, progression in this area of research is challenged by the ultimate limits that exist in quantum-mechanical systems. For example, noise impacts the ability of quantum information to be amplified.

Zhao’s research took a new approach to address these limitations. The team at ANU circumvented some fundamental no-go theorems imposed on quantum mechanical systems by adopting probabilistic operations. The research outcomes surpassed previous results and delivered new milestones.

“By forgoing determinism, we have been able to experimentally demonstrate the state-of-the-art enhancement of the signal-to-noise ratio of an incoming light field that would otherwise be conventionally impossible. We have also generated up to five clones with fidelity of each cloned copy surpassing their corresponding no-cloning limit.”

In addition to this approach, Zhao’s research introduced new techniques for realising a universal squeezing gate which resulted in significant enhancements in fidelity. This gate operation is crucial in quantum information processing and building universal quantum computers. The research demonstrated results that cannot be reproduced by conventional setups, even with world-record ancillary squeezing and the best experimental parameters . Therefore, it provides a promising pathway towards high-fidelity gate operations and fault-tolerant quantum computation .

“I feel greatly honoured to present our research work. Our research work is really very impressive. I sincerely appreciate all the kind helps I received from my supervisors, Ping Koy Lam, and Syed Assad, as well as my talented colleagues. Without them, there is no way we could have achieved so many significant results. “ say Zhao.


Jie Zhao is an Early Career Researcher at the ANU node of CQC2T based in Canberra. Zhao completed her PhD in 2019 working under Prof Ping Koy Lam. Her research is focused on quantum information theories for post-selective continuous variable systems.