Advancing photonic technologies for next-generation telecoms and quantum applications

Our photonics team are experts in the modelling, testing and validation of compound semiconductor technologies found in Future Telecoms and quantum hardware.

As a neutral and trusted convener, we provide a range of testing services from wafer to device level, providing a comprehensive combination of services that can only be found at CSA Catapult.  

Through our know-how, extensive experience and state-of-the-art equipment and labs, we help you advance your photonics technologies and applications and find innovative and novel solutions to the problems you may face. 

Our cutting-edge methods, tools and techniques provide you with invaluable data and insight to help validate and improve your devices and speed up the time to market.   

Joe Gannicliffe

head of photonics

“As we harness the power of light to send data at faster and faster speeds, integrated photonic devices will provide the foundation on which new technologies and applications will be built.  

“These devices will also be a critical component of quantum hardware that will enable a whole host of new applications across the communications industry. 

“By using compound semiconductors, we will achieve all of this with smaller, faster and more efficient devices, creating more resilient networks and accelerating our journey to Net Zero.” 


01 | 03

Wafer level testing

We provide solutions for assessing the performance and quality of your photonic devices at the early stages of the manufacturing process. 

Our wafer level testing allows you to evaluate the functionality, reliability and consistency of photonic components directly on the wafer before they are diced and packaged.  

This enables us to identify defects, optimise process parameters and ensure high yields, ultimately reducing production costs and time-to-market. 


  • Automated optical coupling 
  • Electrical and optical measurements  
  • Wafer level mapping 

02 | 03

Optical communications

We provide a comprehensive suite of testing capabilities for photonics components involved in high-speed optical communications, such as optical transceivers and laser sources.  

Our state-of-the-art equipment is used to assess key performance parameters such as bandwidth, modulation speed, signal integrity and noise characteristics. 

Testing under various operating conditions, including temperature and voltage fluctuations, allows us to uncover potential vulnerabilities and ensures high performance of the photonic device in the desired application. 


  • BER measurements 
  • Jitter 
  • Eye diagrams 
  • Extinction ratio 
  • Link budget 
  • Optical power 
  • Large signal modulation 
  • Cross talk between channels 

03 | 03

Quantum hardware

We provide access to advanced testing equipment and techniques to assess and validate the functionality, performance and properties of quantum hardware, such as single photon detectors (SPADs). 

This allows you to make system level engineering decisions to improve the performance and quality of your systems. 

We work with partners to develop highly sensitive and reliable SPADs across a range of application areas, such as 3D LiDAR and imaging, quantum sensing, optical communications, quantum clocks and quantum computing. 


  • IV and voltage threshold 
  • Dark count rate (DCR) 
  • Photon detection efficiency (PDE) 
  • After pulsing probability 
  • Temperature effects 

Future Telecoms Hub

Our Future Telecoms Hub helps companies test, develop and improve their technologies through CSA Catapult’s expertise across Net Zero, RF and microwave communications, photonics and quantum technologies.

Our expertise

Find out more
Power electronics

Power electronics

Our world-leading team of experts has the know-how, experience and track record in developing and commercialising high-performing power electronics devices for automotive, energy and industrial applications.

Find out more
RF & microwave communications

RF & microwave communications

Our radio frequency and microwave communications experts help optimise the performance and improve the energy efficiency of RF and microwave devices in future telecoms, space, defence and security industries.

Find out more


We are experts in the design, modelling, characterisation and validation of photonics devices, from laser emitters to photonic integrated circuits and quantum hardware.

Find out more
Advanced packaging

Advanced packaging

We provide a unique capability in advanced packaging for UK industry. We deliver bespoke solutions to the many complexities associated with compound semiconductor devices.

Find out more

Get in touch

To learn more about how we can work together, get in touch with a member of our team today.

Contact us