'Connecting the dots' for quantum networks

phys.org | 4/18/2019 | Staff
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Researchers at the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) developed a new technique that could enable future advancements in quantum technology.

The technique squeezes quantum dots, tiny particles made of thousands of atoms, to emit single photons (individual particles of light) with precisely the same color and with positions that can be less than a millionth of a meter apart.

Breakthrough - Development - Information - Technologies - Computing

"This breakthrough could accelerate the development of quantum information technologies and brain-inspired computing," said Allan Bracker, a chemist at NRL and one of the researchers on the project.

In order for quantum dots to "communicate" (interact), they have to emit light at the same wavelength. The size of a quantum dot determines this emission wavelength. However, just as no two snowflakes are alike, no two quantum dots have exactly the same size and shape—at least when they're initially created.

Variability - Researchers - Dots - Light - Wavelength

This natural variability makes it impossible for researchers to create quantum dots that emit light at precisely the same wavelength [color], said NRL physicist Joel Grim, the lead researcher on the project.

"Instead of making quantum dots perfectly identical to begin with, we change their wavelength afterwards by shrink-wrapping them with laser-crystallized hafnium oxide," Grim said. "The shrink wrap squeezes the quantum dots, which shifts their wavelength in a very controllable way."

Scientists

While other scientists...
(Excerpt) Read more at: phys.org
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