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Research interests

The application of quantum mechanics to information science removes certain limits set by classical physics. Quantum technologies provide a level of performance that cannot be reached through classical means, promising fast and powerful computation, secure and efficient communication, and ultra high-resolution imaging. To fully realise these gains, we require the development of techniques that preserve the enhancement, and optical methods provide many opportunities to achieve these goals.

In the Experimental Quantum Optics group, a core area of research is the development of novel methods for the generation, manipulation, and detection of quantum states of light. Our interests include the application of high-dimensionally entangled systems to secure communication protocols, the development of direct and indirect methods for the measurement of quantum states, the fundamental limits of super-resolution imaging, and the development of ultra-sensitive photonic sensors. Ultimately, we are interested in how new methods in quantum optics can enable us to reach the performance advantages of quantum technologies.

For more information please see the Experimental Quantum Optics group website.


Jonathan joined Heriot-Watt University in the autumn of 2012 to establish a research program in experimental quantum optics. His research interests are in applying classical and quantum optics techniques to solve problems in information science, nano-photonic optical sensing and sub-resolution imaging. 

Prior to joining Heriot-Watt, Jonathan was a senior research associate in the Quantum Photonics group at the University of Ottawa, Canada.   He worked closely with Prof. Robert Boyd, the Canada Excellence Research Chair (CERC), to develop the research program in nanophotonics methods for quantum nonlinear optics. Before this position in Canada, Jonathan was a postdoctoral researcher in the Optics Group at the University of Glasgow, UK. 

Jonathan's recent work in the field of quantum optics include using high-dimensional quantum entanglement to show violations of generalised Bell inequalities, holographic ghost imaging, and an experimental demonstration of the angular EPR paradox. These experiments explore the capabilities of high-dimensional spatial entanglement for important quantum information protocols. 

On completion of his PhD, obtained from the University of Glasgow, Jonathan worked to integrate the fields of optical trapping and microfluidics to develop ultra-senstive sensors. He also has industrial experience from his work with Lumerical Inc, a world leading nano-photonic design software company. Jonathan started his undergraduate work at the University of Manchester and then moved to study at the University of Glasgow, where he obtained an MSci in Physics.  

Research Group Contact Details

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Research Output 2006 2019

5.7 A 256×256 40nm/90nm CMOS 3D-Stacked 120dB Dynamic-Range Reconfigurable Time-Resolved SPAD Imager

Henderson, R. K., Johnston, N., Hutchings, S. W., Gyongy, I., Abbas, T. A., Dutton, N., Tyler, M., Chan, S. & Leach, J., 7 Mar 2019, 2019 IEEE International Solid-State Circuits Conference (ISSCC). IEEE, p. 106-108 3 p. (International Solid- State Circuits Conference (ISSCC)).

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Image sensors
Electric power utilization

Long-range depth imaging using a single-photon detector array and non-local data fusion

Chan, S., Halimi, A., Zhu, F., Gyongy, I., Henderson, R. K., Bowman, R., McLaughlin, S., Buller, G. S. & Leach, J., 14 May 2019, (Accepted/In press) In : Scientific Reports.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access
multisensor fusion
high resolution

Attosecond-Resolution Hong-Ou-Mandel Interferometry

Lyons, A., Knee, G. C., Bolduc, E., Roger, T., Leach, J., Gauger, E. & Faccio, D. F. A., 4 May 2018, In : Science Advances. 4, 5, 8 p., eaap9416.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access
Cell Biology

Diffuse time-of-flight imaging with a single-photon camera

Lyons, A., Boccolini, A., Tonolini, F., Repetti, A., Chen, Z., Leach, J., Henderson, R., Wiaux, Y. & Faccio, D., 2018, Computational Optical Sensing and Imaging 2018. Optical Society of America, CM2E.6

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Optical resolving power
Image resolution
Imaging techniques

Enhancing the recovery of a temporal sequence of images using joint deconvolution

Caramazza, P., Wilson, K., Gariépy, G., Leach, J., McLaughlin, S., Faccio, D. & Altmann, Y., 27 Mar 2018, In : Scientific Reports. 8, 5257.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access
CCD cameras


Non-line-of-sight tracking of people at long range

Faccio, D. F. A. (Creator), Chan, S. (Creator), Leach, J. (Creator), Warburton, R. E. (Creator), Heriot-Watt University, 20 Feb 2017


Matlab files for quantum tomography

Leach, J. (Creator), Heriot-Watt University, 17 Oct 2016


Simultaneous entanglement swapping of multiple orbital angular momentum states of light

Leach, J. (Creator), Faccio, D. F. A. (Creator), Roger, T. (Creator), Heriot-Watt University, 2017



Switched On Award for Most Engaging Lecturer 2015

Jonathan Leach (Recipient), 13 May 2015

Prize: Prize (including medals and awards)


Activities 2014 2015

  • 3 Participation in Festival or Exhibition
  • 3 Public lecture

International Year of Light & Light Based Technologies 2015

Jonathan Leach (Participant)
23 Feb 2015

Activity: Participating in or organising an eventParticipation in Festival or Exhibition

Capturing Nature

Jonathan Leach (Speaker)
5 Jul 2015

Activity: Talk or presentationPublic lecture

International Year of Light & Light Based Technologies 2015

Jonathan Leach (Participant)
11 Apr 2015

Activity: Participating in or organising an eventParticipation in Festival or Exhibition

Engineering the New Enlightenment

Jonathan Leach (Speaker)
14 Apr 2015

Activity: Talk or presentationPublic lecture

'Meet the Experts' Explorathon '14

Jonathan Leach (Speaker)
26 Sep 2014

Activity: Talk or presentationPublic lecture