New structures could accelerate progress toward faster computing and high-security data transfer across fiber optic networks.
Image courtesy of The Englund Group, MIT
Diamond optical cavities allow laser light (green arrow) to excite electrons on atoms held within the cavities, transferring information about the atoms outward via light (red arrow). Similar to funhouse mirrors, these cavities reflect and trap light letting light more readily pick up and transmit information about an atom’s state. This interaction is essential to develop quantum computing systems.
Tiny, nanoscale mirrors were constructed to trap light around atoms inside of diamond crystals, acting like a series of funhouse mirrors. The mirrored cavities in the crystal allow light to bounce back and forth up to 10,000 times, enhancing the normally weak interaction between light and the electronic spin states in the atoms. As a result, a 200-microsecond spin-coherence time – how long the memory encoded in the electron spin state lasts – was produced.
The enhanced interactions between light and atoms and the extended spin-coherence times are essential steps toward realizing real-world quantum memories and, hence, quantum computing systems, which could solve some problems faster than conventional systems. Additionally, these advances could significantly impact the development of high-security, long-distance, cryptographic fiber optic communication networks.
Nanoscale mirrored cavities that trap light around atoms in diamond crystals increase the quantum mechanical interactions between light and electrons in atoms. Such interactions are essential to the creation and the connection of memory for quantum computers. Recent research, performed at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and the Center for Functional Nanomaterials at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Brookhaven National Laboratory, has demonstrated a new process to construct such diamond nanocavities in which memories are encoded inside the electronic spin states of an atomic system, with a memory time exceeding 200 microseconds. This improvement in the coherence time is more than two orders of magnitude better than previously reported times for cavity-coupled single quantum memories in solid state systems. The fabrication of the optical cavities relied on a new silicon hard-mask fabrication process that applies mature semiconductor fabrication methods for patterning high-quality photonic devices into unconventional substrates.
Fabrication and experiments were supported in part by the Air Force Office of Scientific Research (AFOSR Grant No. FA9550-11-1-0014). Research was carried out in part at the Center for Functional Nanomaterials, Brookhaven National Laboratory, which is supported by the U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Science, Office of Basic Energy Sciences, under Contract No. DE-AC02-98CH10886. Support is also acknowledged from the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, the NASA Office of the Chief Technologist’s Space Technology Research Fellowship, the AFOSR Quantum Memories Multidisciplinary University Research Initiative, and the National Science Foundation Integrative Graduate Education and Research Traineeship Program, Interdisciplinary Quantum Information Science and Engineering (iQuISE).
L. Li, T. Schröder, E.H. Chen, M. Walsh, I. Bayn, J. Goldstein, O. Gaathon, M.E. Trusheim, M. Lu, J. Mower, M. Cotlet, M.L. Markham, D.J. Twitchen, and D. Englund, “Coherent spin control of a nanocavity-enhanced qubit in diamond.” Nature Communications 6, 6173 (2015). [DOI: 10.1038/ncomms7173External link]
Kristin Manke | newswise
Fraunhofer FIT joins Facebook's Telecom Infra Project
25.10.2016 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Angewandte Informationstechnik FIT
Stanford researchers create new special-purpose computer that may someday save us billions
21.10.2016 | Stanford University
Ultrafast lasers have introduced new possibilities in engraving ultrafine structures, and scientists are now also investigating how to use them to etch microstructures into thin glass. There are possible applications in analytics (lab on a chip) and especially in electronics and the consumer sector, where great interest has been shown.
This new method was born of a surprising phenomenon: irradiating glass in a particular way with an ultrafast laser has the effect of making the glass up to a...
Terahertz excitation of selected crystal vibrations leads to an effective magnetic field that drives coherent spin motion
Controlling functional properties by light is one of the grand goals in modern condensed matter physics and materials science. A new study now demonstrates how...
Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.
"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...
In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.
A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...
By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.
"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...
14.10.2016 | Event News
14.10.2016 | Event News
12.10.2016 | Event News
25.10.2016 | Earth Sciences
25.10.2016 | Power and Electrical Engineering
25.10.2016 | Process Engineering