Abstract: Quantum Brilliance is an ANU, Australian based start-up that has pioneered the world’s first room-temperature quantum computer and is looking to further push the boundaries of commercial quantum computers.

Keywords: Quantum Brilliance, Quantum Computers, ANU

The success story

Quantum computers are large, costly, and not suited to most commercial or household uses. Quantum Brilliance is pioneering the development of the “quantum microprocessor”, utilising nitrogen-vacancy synthetic diamonds, currently producing quantum accelerators that can operate at room temperature without requiring more space than a regular desktop PC. Chief Operating Officer Mark Luo is confident that the success of Quantum Brilliance illustrates the talent and potential for Australia  to be a driving force in quantum computing. “We have all the ingredients to be successful – why don’t we do it?”, says Luo.

How did we start?

Qubits (the basic unit of a quantum computer) need complete isolation from environmental influences (phonons) to remain functional, encased inside superconducting materials. These superconductors require complex cryogenic, vacuum or laser systems to remain stable enough for the qubits to operate. The monetary and spatial requirements for such machines are cumbersome and unfeasible for commercial and personal uses. The solution? A material that can house qubits safely at room temperature i.e. diamonds, due to its rigidity even at room temperature. Diamond quantum qubit operations began throughout the 2010s, but this hit a barrier in 2015 when the problem of scaling the processing power presented itself. In 2017, quantum physicist and Chief Scientific Officer for QB Dr Marcus Doherty sought to overcome this barrier.

Our Technology

Dr Doherty’s idea to produce a powerful, room temperature, small-scale quantum accelerator came to fruition through the fabrication of atomically precise nitrogen vacancy (NV) centre diamonds; and a chip which miniaturises and integrates all control systems required for a quantum computer.

Quantum Brilliance’s processor nodes utilise NV centre diamonds combined with a number of nitrogen nuclear spins, with accompanying 13C nuclear spin impurities. NV refers to a defect in diamonds where the carbon lattice is interrupted by a nitrogen atom next to a vacancy, which gives the diamond useful properties within the context of quantum computing. Scaling an NV diamond-based processor requires the precise fabrication of NV centres – separated by just a few nanometres – and existing methods were not precise enough to achieve this. Quantum Brilliance has pioneered a bottom-up fabrication method, taking inspiration from atom-precise silicon fabrication techniques developed in Australia. This fabrication method allows the atom-level precision required, allowing Quantum Brilliance to scale the number of qubits within their accelerators beyond what was previously possible. Quantum Brilliance innovated an integrated quantum chip, which houses the key control systems of a quantum computer (electrical, optical and magnetic) in a single miniaturised chip.

From left: Quantum Brilliance co-founders Mark Luo (COO), Marcus Doherty (CSO) and Andrew Horsley (CEO).

The journey so far

In 2017, Quantum Brilliance secured capital from the Australian National University in Canberra. Horsley and Luo joined Doherty later in 2020, which supported the company expansion to 25 staff with offices in Australia (Sydney and Canberra) and Germany. Quantum Brilliance partnered with the Pawsey Supercomputing Centre in Perth in 2020, integrating their accelerators into the existing supercomputers, aimed at creating an innovation hub centred around quantum computing. After securing funding from several prominent institutions and venture capital funds, the Quantum Brilliance accelerator is soon to be commercially available.

Look into the future

Quantum Brilliance aims to expand its operations, doubling staff within the next four months. Luo insists that “the talented team both within Australia and Germany is central to remaining at the forefront of quantum computing both in Australia and internationally.” Although the world’s first room temperature quantum accelerator will be deployed by Quantum Brilliance in the upcoming months, they are committed to innovating a GPU-sized 50 qubit quantum accelerator – within the next 5 years. With countless potential applications – from chips inside cars and robots to Mars rovers and satellites – the quantum computer industry is poised for decades of exciting innovation and discovery. Luo concludes that “If quantum becomes ubiquitous, that’s where we believe innovation will happen”.

3D render of Quantum Brilliance’s upcoming consumer quantum accelerator which houses 5 qubits in a casing similar in size to a desktop computer and is the world’s first publicly available room-temperature quantum computer.

The company

ANU, Gould Building (Building 116),
Acton ACT 2601


Investment Rounds (collected in 18.08.21)

|Seed| 01.08.2020 | The Australian National University and CP Ventures| $2.5 M

Main facts (collected in 18.08.21)

The company started in 2017.
The first product will be delivered in 2021.
The company currently employs 25 staff both across Australia and Germany.
The next milestone is launch further new products in the Australian and international markets.

Nicholas Glasson is a psychology student due to commence his Honours year in 2022. Throughout his undergraduate degree he has discovered and nurtured a passion for neurobiology, neuropsychology and statistics, and is intending on continuing on to the neuropsychology master’s program at Macquarie University.


In 2020, Nicholas undertook a research internship at The Resilience Centre on the mental health effects of Covid-19, with a particular focus on the moderating effect of community group involvement. Following this, Nicholas was invited to work for the Resilience Centre, and has been employed doing statistical analysis and reports on mental health for high schools since 2021.

Nicholas is actively involved in the performing arts, and has played the violin since he was 4 years old. He completed the Suzuki violin program in 2014 and has lead both the NSW State Music Camp Orchestra and the School’s Spectacular Orchestra. He is currently an active member of the Ku-ring-gai Youth Orchestra.