Quantum Information Storage via Silicon & Organic Carbon-Based Molecules
Researchers discover new way to split and sum photons with silicon
+ A team of researchers at The University of Texas at Austin and the University of California, Riverside have found a way to produce a long-hypothesized phenomenon—the transfer of energy between silicon and organic, carbon-based molecules—in a breakthrough that has implications for information storage in quantum computing, solar energy conversion and medical imaging.
“The novelty is really how to get the two parts of this structure—the organic molecules and the quantum confined silicon nanocrystals—to work together,” said Mangolini, an associate professor of mechanical engineering. “We are the first group to really put the two together.”
+ Silicon is one of the planet’s most abundant materials and a critical component in everything from the semiconductors that power our computers to the cells used in nearly all solar energy panels. For all of its abilities, however, silicon has some problems when it comes to converting light into electricity. Different colors of light are comprised of photons, particles that carry light’s energy. Silicon can efficiently convert red photons into electricity, but with blue photons , which carry twice the energy of red photons, silicon loses most of their energy as heat.
+ The new discovery provides scientists with a way to boost silicon’s efficiency by pairing it with a carbon-based material that converts blue photons into pairs of red photons that can be more efficiently used by silicon. This hybrid material can also be tweaked to operate in reverse, taking in red light and converting it into blue light, which has implications for medical treatments and quantum computing.
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