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!
Astronomers find unexpected, dust-obscured star formation in distant galaxy
24.03.2017 | University of Massachusetts at Amherst
Gravitational wave kicks monster black hole out of galactic core
24.03.2017 | NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center
Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.
The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.
Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...
Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.
Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...
In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...
Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to simulate these confined natural conditions in artificial vesicles for the first time. As reported in the academic journal Small, the results are offering better insight into the development of nanoreactors and artificial organelles.
Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to...
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