On-Demand Photon Emitters For Quantum Circuits

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Researchers have developed integrated chips that can generate light particles on demand and without the need for extreme refrigeration.

Quantum internet relies on the complexities of harnessing light to transmit quantum information over fiber optic networks. Quantum computing systems today depend on electrons which carry qubits of information to perform multiple calculations simultaneously in very less amount of time as compared to classical computers. 

Researchers from KTH Royal Institute of Technology have developed integrated chips that can generate light particles on demand and without the need for extreme refrigeration. This approach, according to the researchers, offers a natural link between communication and computation.

However, in order to deliver qubits on-demand in quantum systems, they need to be emitted in a deterministic fashion, which can be accomplished at extremely low temperatures. The new method developed by KTH researchers enables these systems to work at room temperatures. The method allows photon emitters to be precisely positioned in integrated optical circuits similar to copper wires.

The researchers harnessed the single-photon-emitting properties of hexagonal boron nitride (hBN), a layered material used in ceramics, alloys, resins, plastics and rubbers. They integrated the material with silicon nitride waveguides to direct the emitted photons.

“In existing optical circuits operating at room temperature, you never know when the single photon is generated unless you do a heralding measurement,” says co-author of the research, Ali Elshaari, Associate Professor at KTH. “We realized a deterministic process that precisely positions light-particles emitters operating at room temperature in an integrated photonic circuit.”

According to researchers, their work opens a path to hybrid integration, that is, incorporating atom-like single-photon emitters into photonic platforms that cannot emit light efficiently on demand.

The research has been published in the journal Advanced Quantum Technologies.


 

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