New Angle on Producing Single-photons; Applying to Quantum Computing. Researchers at Macquarie University have developed a new method for producing single-photons.
The “standard approach” is limited at quantum scales as the production is through materials engineering — a known challenge. The new method shows promise in creating identical quantum emitters from semiconductors by photon nanostructure engineering. A method which lends to scaling.
The New Approach. The Macquarie team’s approach uses nanometer-thick films made of gallium arsenide; a semiconductor material widely used in solar cells. These thin films are placed between two mirrors to manipulate the incoming photons.
“The photons interact with electron-hole pairs in the semiconductor, forming new chimeric particles called polaritons that carry properties from both the photons and the electron-hole pairs. The polaritons decay after a few picoseconds, and the photons they release exhibit distinct quantum signatures.”
One challenge needing to be faced is increasing the strength of the quantum signatures. Once overcome, the potential for “massively scaling up” production provides opportunity for quantum communication and optical quantum information processing applications. Until that time, “real-world applications are still a fair bit away.”