Closing in on 'holy grail' of room temperature quantum computing chips

ScienceDaily | 9/18/2019 | Staff
princia (Posted by) Level 3
The team, led by Yuping Huang, an associate professor of physics and director of the Center for Quantum Science and Engineering, brings us closer to that goal with a nano-scale chip that facilitates photon interactions with much higher efficiency than any previous system. The new method, reported as a memorandum in the Sept. 18 issue of Optica, works at very low energy levels, suggesting that it could be optimized to work at the level of individual photons -- the holy grail for room-temperature quantum computing and secure quantum communication.

"We're pushing the boundaries of physics and optical engineering in order to bring quantum and all-optical signal processing closer to reality," said Huang.

Advance - Huang - Team - Laser - Beam

To achieve this advance, Huang's team fired a laser beam into a racetrack-shaped microcavity carved into a sliver of crystal. As the laser light bounces around the racetrack, its confined photons interact with one another, producing a harmonic resonance that causes some of the circulating light to change wavelength.

That isn't an entirely new trick, but Huang and colleagues, including graduate student Jiayang Chen and senior research scientist Yong Meng Sua, dramatically boosted its efficiency by using a chip made from lithium niobate on insulator, a material that has a unique way of interacting with light. Unlike silicon, lithium niobate is difficult to chemically etch with common reactive gases. So, the Stevens' team used an ion-milling tool, essentially a nanosandblaster, to etch a tiny racetrack about one-hundredth the width of a human hair.

Racetrack - Structure - Team - Pulses

Before defining the racetrack structure, the team needed to apply high-voltage electrical pulses to create carefully calibrated...
(Excerpt) Read more at: ScienceDaily
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