Household lightbulbs give off a chaotic torrent of energy, as trillions of miniscule light particles – called photons – reflect and scatter in all directions. Quantum light sources, on the other hand, are like light guns that fire single photons one by one, each time they are triggered, enabling them to carry hack-proof digital information – technology attractive to industries such as finance and defense.
Now, researchers at Stevens Institute of Technology and Columbia University have developed a scalable method for creating large numbers of these quantum light sources on a chip with unprecedented precision that not only could pave the way for the development of unbreakable cryptographic systems but also quantum computers that can perform complex calculations in seconds that would take normal computers years to finish.
“The search for scalable quantum light sources has been going on for 20 years, and more recently has become a national priority,” says Stefan Strauf, who led the work and is also director of Stevens’ Nanophotonic Lab. “This is the first time anyone has achieved a level of spatial control combined with high efficiency on a chip that is scalable, all of which are needed to realize quantum technologies.”
The work, to be reported in the Oct. 29 advance online issue of Nature Nanotechnology, describes a new method for creating quantum light sources on demand in any desired location on a chip, by stretching an atom-thin film of semiconducting material over nanocubes made of gold. Like taut cling-wrap, the film stretches over the corners of the nanocubes, imprinting defined locations where single-photon emitters form.
Past research has tested methods for producing quantum emitters in defined locations, but these designs were not scalable or efficient at triggering single photons frequently enough to be practically useful. Strauf and his team changed all that by becoming the first to combine spatial control and scalability with the ability to efficiently emit photons on demand.
To achieve these capabilities, Strauf’s team designed a unique approach where the gold nanocube serves a dual purpose: it imprints the quantum emitter on the chip and it acts as an antenna around it. By creating the quantum emitters in between the gold nanocube and mirror, Strauf left a five-nanometer narrow gap – 20,000 times smaller than the width of a sheet of paper.
“This tiny space between the mirror and nanocube creates an optical antenna that funnels all the photons into that five-nanometer gap, thereby concentrating all the energy” says Strauf. “Essentially, it provides the necessary boost for the single photons to be emitted rapidly from the defined location and in the desired direction.”
To further improve the efficiency of the quantum light sources, Strauf teamed up with Katayun Barmak and James Hone, of Columbia University, who developed a technique for growing semiconductor crystals that are nearly free of defects. Using these unique crystals, Stevens’ graduate student Yue Luo built rows of quantum emitters on a chip by stretching the atom-thin material over the nanocubes. The nanoantennas are formed by attaching the mirror, on the bottom side of the nanocube.
The result: a record-high firing of 42 million single photons per second; in other words, every second trigger created a photon on demand, compared to only one in 100 triggers previously.
Though tiny, the emitters are remarkably tough. “They’re astonishingly stable,” Strauf says. “We can cool them and warm them and disassemble the resonator and reassemble it, and they still work.” Most quantum emitters must be kept chilled to -273°C but the new technology works up to -70°C. “We’re not yet at room temperature,” says Strauf, “but current experiments show that it’s feasible to get there.”
The Latest on: Quantum light sources
via Google News
The Latest on: Quantum light sources
- Physicists Entangled Photons in the Lab With Photons From the Sunon August 16, 2019 at 1:00 pm
The experiment was mainly curiosity-driven, but it demonstrates that in the future, researchers might be able to use the Sun as a source of light for quantum mechanics-related purposes.
- TCL 2019 6 and 8 series hands-on: the only TV you need this yearon August 15, 2019 at 10:49 am
LCD has been replaced by QLED — that means Quantum Dots — and micro LED ... VUDU and more, as well as video sources like Xbox One and Apple TV, the Dolby Vision™ HDR technology supported on the 8- and ...
- Experimental test of the collapse time of a delocalized photon stateon August 15, 2019 at 2:44 am
We realize this by using a source of heralded single photons ... coincidences between detectors A and B as a function of the time delay, both for quantum and coherent light. The histograms overlap ...
- UbiQD Announces Novel Quantum Dot Optical Fiber Technology That Delivers Extra Light to the Lower Canopy of Plantson August 14, 2019 at 4:12 pm
By utilizing UbiQD's range of quantum dot colors, covering visible-to-NIR spectral regions, the company also demonstrated a low-cost, miniature broadband medical light source. Integrated into a ...
- Is Energy Conserved When Photons Redshift In Our Expanding Universe?on August 13, 2019 at 11:04 pm
Imagine the ultimate version of a toy Universe: it's expanding, it's full of material, and through it all, there's one photon — or quantum of light — that we keep ... keeping track of where all the ...
- Metasurface interferometry toward quantum sensorson August 13, 2019 at 3:16 pm
Their ability to fully control the wavefronts of light can be used to generate multiphoton ... in a well-defined and efficient way without the need for an additional source. Sangouard, N. et al.
- A single-photon source you can make with household bleachon August 12, 2019 at 5:13 am
Single photons can be an essential qubit source for these ... synthesize these fluorescent quantum defects within a minute, simply using household bleach and light," Lin says.
- The End Of The Digital Revolution Is Coming: Here's What's Nexton August 11, 2019 at 7:36 pm
It's 20,000 vacuum tubes (the glowing glass light bulb-like ... You can however use a quantum computer for free or lease its use for more sophisticated applications For example, IBM's Q, is available ...
- Ultrafast nonlocal collective dynamics of Kane plasmon-polaritons in a narrow-gap semiconductoron August 9, 2019 at 11:18 am
ifw-dresden.de ↵† Present address: Center for Quantum Spintronics, Department of Physics ... control of Kane plasmon-polaritons in a semiconducting material using light sources in the standard ...
via Bing News