A National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) scientist has demonstrated efficient production of single photons---the smallest pulses of light---at the highest temperatures reported for the photon source used. The advance is a step toward practical, ultrasecure quantum communications, as well as useful for certain types of metrology. The results are reported in the Feb. 23 issue of Applied Physics Letters.
"Single photon turnstiles" are being hotly pursued for quantum communications and cryptography, which involve using streams of individual photons in different quantum states to transmit encoded information. Due to the peculiarities of quantum mechanics, such transmissions could not be intercepted without being altered, thus ensuring that eavesdropping would be detected.
The photon source used in the NIST study was a "quantum dot," 10 to 20 nanometers wide, made of semiconductor materials. Quantum dots have special electronic properties that, when excited, cause the emission of light at a single wavelength that depends on dot size. An infrared laser tuned to a particular wavelength and intensity was used to excite the quantum dot, which produced photons one by one more than 91 percent of the time at temperatures close to absolute zero (5 K or about minus 459 degrees F) and continued to work at 53 percent efficiency at 120 K (minus 243 degrees F). Higher operating temperatures are preferable from a cost standpoint, because the need for cooling is reduced.
Laura Ost | EurekAlert!
A better way to weigh millions of solitary stars
15.12.2017 | Vanderbilt University
A chip for environmental and health monitoring
15.12.2017 | Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg
DNA molecules that follow specific instructions could offer more precise molecular control of synthetic chemical systems, a discovery that opens the door for engineers to create molecular machines with new and complex behaviors.
Researchers have created chemical amplifiers and a chemical oscillator using a systematic method that has the potential to embed sophisticated circuit...
MPQ scientists achieve long storage times for photonic quantum bits which break the lower bound for direct teleportation in a global quantum network.
Concerning the development of quantum memories for the realization of global quantum networks, scientists of the Quantum Dynamics Division led by Professor...
Researchers have developed a water cloaking concept based on electromagnetic forces that could eliminate an object's wake, greatly reducing its drag while...
Tiny pores at a cell's entryway act as miniature bouncers, letting in some electrically charged atoms--ions--but blocking others. Operating as exquisitely sensitive filters, these "ion channels" play a critical role in biological functions such as muscle contraction and the firing of brain cells.
To rapidly transport the right ions through the cell membrane, the tiny channels rely on a complex interplay between the ions and surrounding molecules,...
The miniaturization of the current technology of storage media is hindered by fundamental limits of quantum mechanics. A new approach consists in using so-called spin-crossover molecules as the smallest possible storage unit. Similar to normal hard drives, these special molecules can save information via their magnetic state. A research team from Kiel University has now managed to successfully place a new class of spin-crossover molecules onto a surface and to improve the molecule’s storage capacity. The storage density of conventional hard drives could therefore theoretically be increased by more than one hundred fold. The study has been published in the scientific journal Nano Letters.
Over the past few years, the building blocks of storage media have gotten ever smaller. But further miniaturization of the current technology is hindered by...
11.12.2017 | Event News
08.12.2017 | Event News
07.12.2017 | Event News
15.12.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering
15.12.2017 | Materials Sciences
15.12.2017 | Life Sciences