Researchers from the US Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) developed a new technique that would allow future advances in quantum technology.
The technique clamps quantum points, small particles made of thousands of atoms, to emit single photons (individual light particles) of exactly the same color and with positions that may be less than one millionth of a meter apart.
"This breakthrough could accelerate the development of quantum information technologies and brain-inspired computing," said Allan Bracker, a chemist at NRL and one of the researchers at the project.
In order for quantum points to "communicate", they must radiate light at the same wavelength. The size of a quantum point determines this emission wavelength. But like no two snowflakes are alike, no two quantum points have equal size and shape ̵
This natural variability makes it impossible for scientists to create quantum points that emit light at the same wavelength [color] said the NRL physicist Joel Grim, the lead researcher on the project.
"Instead of perfecting quantum points, we first begin to change their wavelength by shrinking them with laser crystallized hafnium oxide," Grim said. "The shrink paper clamps the quantum points, which change their wavelength in a highly controllable way."
While other scientists have demonstrated "tuning" of quantum dot wavelengths previously, the first time scientists have achieved it is precisely in both wavelength and position.
"This means we can do it not only for two or three, but too many quantum points in an integrated circuit that could be used for optical, rather than electrical computing," Bracker said. 19659005] The wide range of research competencies and scientific assets of the NRL enabled the team to test various approaches to making this quantum dot breakthrough in a relatively short period of time.
"NRL has internal facilities for crystal growth, unit manufacturing, and quantum optical measurements," Grim said. "This means we could immediately coordinate our efforts to focus on rapidly improving material properties."
According to Grim and Bracker, this milestone in quantum point manipulation could provide a basis for future progress in a number of areas.
"NRL's new method of tuning the wavelength of quantum dots could enable new technologies that use the odd properties of quantum physics for computing, communication and sensing," Bracker said. "It can also lead to neuromorphic or brain-inspired computers based on a network of small lasers."
Applications where space and energy efficiency are limiting factors may also benefit this breakthrough approach, researchers say.
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Joel Q. Grim et al., Scalable in the operand strain tuning in nanophotonic waveguides enables three-quantum point superradiance, Nature Materials (2019). DOI: 10,1038 / s41563-019-0418-0
& # 39; Connect Dots & # 39; to quantum networks (2019, July 9)
July 10, 2019
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