A new light source for quantum computers

February 20, 2013 by Laure-Anne Pessina

Researchers have discovered a new way of emitting photons one at a time. They have constructed semiconductor nanowires with “quantum dots” of unprecedented quality – a discovery with implications for the future of quantum computing.

In a future of quantum computing, data will be treated and transmitted by lasers. The quantum properties of light will endow machines with gigantic computing potential and an incredible execution rate. However, much work remains to be done. In order to exploit the “quantum” potential of light it is necessary, among other things, to be able easily to emit photons one by one.

The “natural” creation of a photon filter

At the heart of the Laboratory of Semiconductor Materials (LMSC) of Institute of Materials, the team of Anna Fontcuberta i Morral has discovered a new method for creating a miniscule and extremely high-performance single-photon source. She has found that “quantum dots”, or nanocrystals, appear naturally on a certain kind of semiconductor nanowire during their fabrication process. The final structure can then emit photos one by one, after having absorbed light. Her discovery is the subject of an article in Nature Materials.

Read more: A new light source for quantum computers — phys.org.

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