A UC Santa Barbara research team has demonstrated the first and arguably most challenging step in the process. The paper, published in Nature Physics, describes a nanomechanical transducer that provides strong and coherent coupling between microwave signals and optical photons. In other words, the transducer is an effective conduit for translating electrical signals (microwaves) into light (photons).
This is a schematic of electro-optomechanical transduction in the piezoelectric optomechanical crystal.
Credit: Joerg Bochmann & Amit Vainsencher, UCSB
Today's high-speed Internet converts electrical signals to light and sends it through optical fibers, but accomplishing this with quantum information is one of the great challenges in quantum physics. If realized, this would enable secure communication and even quantum teleportation, a process by which quantum information can be transmitted from one location to another.
"There's this big effort going on in science now to construct computers and networks that work on the principles of quantum physics," says lead author Jörg Bochmann, a postdoctoral scholar in UCSB's Department of Physics. "And we have found that there actually is a way to translate electrical quantum states to optical quantum states."
The new paper outlines the concept and presents a prototype device, which uses an optomechanical crystal implemented in a piezoelectric material in a way that is compatible with superconducting qubits, quantum analogs of classical bits. Operating the device at the single phonon limit, the scientists were able generate coherent interactions between electrical signals, very high frequency mechanical vibrations, and optical signals.
Although the first prototype of the transducer has not been operated in the quantum realm, that is, in fact, the next step for the research effort. "In this paper, we're characterizing the system using classical electrical and optical signals and find that the essential parameters look very promising," says Bochmann. "In the next step, we would have to actually input quantum signals from the electrical side and then check whether the quantum properties are preserved in the light."
According to the authors, their prototype transducer is fully compatible with superconducting quantum circuits and is well suited for cryogenic operation. "The coupled dynamics of the system should be the same at low temperatures as in our room temperature measurements, albeit with a lower thermal background," said co-author Andrew Cleland, a professor of physics and associate director of the California Nanosystems Institute at UCSB. "Genuine quantum features and non-classical mechanical states will emerge when we couple a superconducting qubit to the transducer.
"We believe that combining optomechanics with superconducting quantum devices will enable a new generation of on-chip quantum devices with unique capabilities, as well as opening an exciting pathway for realizing entangled networks of electronic and photonic quantum systems," Cleland said.
Julie Cohen | EurekAlert!
Computer model predicts how fracturing metallic glass releases energy at the atomic level
20.07.2018 | American Institute of Physics
What happens when we heat the atomic lattice of a magnet all of a sudden?
18.07.2018 | Forschungsverbund Berlin
A new manufacturing technique uses a process similar to newspaper printing to form smoother and more flexible metals for making ultrafast electronic devices.
The low-cost process, developed by Purdue University researchers, combines tools already used in industry for manufacturing metals on a large scale, but uses...
For the first time ever, scientists have determined the cosmic origin of highest-energy neutrinos. A research group led by IceCube scientist Elisa Resconi, spokesperson of the Collaborative Research Center SFB1258 at the Technical University of Munich (TUM), provides an important piece of evidence that the particles detected by the IceCube neutrino telescope at the South Pole originate from a galaxy four billion light-years away from Earth.
To rule out other origins with certainty, the team led by neutrino physicist Elisa Resconi from the Technical University of Munich and multi-wavelength...
For the first time a team of researchers have discovered two different phases of magnetic skyrmions in a single material. Physicists of the Technical Universities of Munich and Dresden and the University of Cologne can now better study and understand the properties of these magnetic structures, which are important for both basic research and applications.
Whirlpools are an everyday experience in a bath tub: When the water is drained a circular vortex is formed. Typically, such whirls are rather stable. Similar...
Physicists working with Roland Wester at the University of Innsbruck have investigated if and how chemical reactions can be influenced by targeted vibrational excitation of the reactants. They were able to demonstrate that excitation with a laser beam does not affect the efficiency of a chemical exchange reaction and that the excited molecular group acts only as a spectator in the reaction.
A frequently used reaction in organic chemistry is nucleophilic substitution. It plays, for example, an important role in in the synthesis of new chemical...
Optical spectroscopy allows investigating the energy structure and dynamic properties of complex quantum systems. Researchers from the University of Würzburg present two new approaches of coherent two-dimensional spectroscopy.
"Put an excitation into the system and observe how it evolves." According to physicist Professor Tobias Brixner, this is the credo of optical spectroscopy....
13.07.2018 | Event News
12.07.2018 | Event News
03.07.2018 | Event News
20.07.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering
20.07.2018 | Information Technology
20.07.2018 | Materials Sciences