Home » Quantum photonics: Promising a new era in optical circuits

Quantum photonics: Promising a new era in optical circuits

FIGURE. (A) SCANNING ELECTRON MICROSCOPE (SEM) IMAGE OF STARTING NANOMETER-SIZED MESA ARRAY CREATED ON A FLAT SEMICONDUCTOR SUBSTRATE; (B) SCHEMATIC OF MESA PROFILE EVOLUTION DURING MATERIAL DEPOSITION WITH THE BLACK ARROWS INDICATING ATOM MIGRATION DIRECTION LEADING FIRST TO GAAS SIZE-REDUCTION (THE SESRE APPROACH) AND THEN SWITCHING TO THE DEPOSITION OF QUANTUM DOT MATERIAL INAS (RED) ON THE SIZE-REDUCED MESA TOP AND BACK TO GAAS TO BURY THE RED INAS; A SEM IMAGE OF THE MESA BEARING THE SINGLE QUANTUM DOT IS SHOWN BELOW; (C) INDICATES THE REALIZED QUANTUM DOT ARRAY BURIED UNDER A PLANARIZED GAAS SURFACE SHOWN SYMBOLICALLY AS A TRANSLUCENT OVERLAYER TO ENABLE VISUALIZATION (GAAS IS OPAQUE).

 

Exploration Highlights

 

  • The modern world is powered by electrical circuitry on a “chip”—the semiconductor chip underpinning computers, cell phones, the internet, and other applications. In the year 2025, humans are expected to be creating 175 zettabytes (175 trillion gigabytes) of new data. How can we ensure the security of sensitive data at such a high volume?
  • A promising alternative is emerging quantum communication and computation technologies.
  • Researchers in USC’s Mork Family Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science have made a breakthrough to help enable this technology.
  • In recently published work, researchers at USC have shown that single photons can indeed be emitted in a uniform way from quantum dots arranged in a precise pattern.
  • It is expected that the ability to precisely align uniformly-emitting quantum dots will enable the production of optical circuits, potentially leading to novel advancements in quantum computing and communications technologies.
  • “The breakthrough paves the way to the next steps required to move from lab demonstration of single photon physics to chip-scale fabrication of quantum photonic circuits,” Zhang said.
  • “This work also sets a new world-record of ordered and scalable quantum dots in terms of the simultaneous purity of single-photon emission greater than 99.5%, and in terms of the uniformity of the wavelength of the emitted photons, which can be as narrow as 1.8nm, which is a factor of 20 to 40 better than typical quantum dots,” Zhang said.
  • This means that for the first time researchers can create scalable quantum photonic chips using well-established semiconductor processing techniques.

Original Article: Breakthrough in Quantum Photonics Promises a New Era in Optical Circuits

More from: University of Southern California | IBM Research on Innovation2

 

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