Single photon quantum emitters are the light sources that can emit light as single particles or photons. Image via Pixabay
Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) claim to have created a new single-photon emitter that can generate high-quality photons able to carry quantum information at room temperature.
Their device, they claim, could provide the foundation for practical quantum computers and other quantum devices.
Single photon quantum emitters are the light sources that can emit light as single particles (photons). These devices function somewhat different from thermal light sources (such as incandescent light bulbs) and coherent light sources (such as lasers).
Scientists have been trying to develop practical quantum computers for the past several years, but face several challenges. A major issue in this field, according to scientists, is generating single photons with “indistinguishable” quantum properties.
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Scientists use longer optical cavities to enhance the level of “indistinguishability” of photons. In these cavities, photons collected from emitters are put to bounce back and forth – a process that helps to match the properties of photons to make them “indistinguishable.”
The more time photons spend in a longer cavity, the more identical they become.
However, a drawback of longer cavities is that they can extract only a small fraction of photons from emitters, thereby making the process inefficient.
In comparison, smaller cavities can extract a greater number of photons, but the resulting photons are more “distinguishable” compared to those from larger cavities.
In the current study, the researchers designed a coupled cavity with two parts – a smaller one and a larger one. The smaller cavity ensures that sufficient number of photons is collected, and then the larger cavity stores those photons a bit longer to enhance the level of their indistinguishability.
According to researchers, this coupled cavity generated photons with around 95 per cent indistinguishability and with about three times better efficiency. The single cavity, in comparison, can generate photons with only 80 per cent indistinguishability.
The detailed findings of the study are published in journal Physical Review Letters.
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.(tagsToTranslate)Single-photon emitter(t)optical cavities(t)MIT(t)Massachusetts Institute of Technology(t)quantum computing
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