Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Compact optical chips? Photons on demand now possible

Date:
October 11, 2013
Source:
University of Sydney
Summary:
A breakthrough in photonics that will help create extremely compact optical chips, a hair's width in size and delivering a photon at a time, has been achieved.

A breakthrough in photonics that will help create extremely compact optical chips, a hair's width in size and delivering a photon at a time, has been achieved by researchers from the University of Sydney.

"This result has applications in the development of complex quantum technologies, including completely secure communications, quantum measurement, the simulation of biological and chemical systems and of course quantum computing," said Dr Alex Clark, leader of the research team from the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for Ultrahigh Bandwidth Devices for Optical Systems (CUDOS).

Carried out at the University of Sydney's School of Physics, the research is published in Nature Communications today.

It is part of a wider collaboration involving Australian and international universities, including Macquarie University, the University of St Andrews and the University of York, as well as the Australian Defence Science and Technology Organisation (DSTO).

Photons are single particles of light that can readily carry quantum information. The importance of being able to develop a chip that can deliver one photon at a time at very high rates is to provide scalability for the extraordinary diversity of quantum technologies that could enhance computing and communication infrastructure.

Scalability refers to the ability to use many photon sources in parallel to carry out complicated tasks.

"It is easy for us to generate photons at high rates, but it's much harder to ensure they come out one by one because photons are gregarious by nature and love to bunch together," said lead author of the Nature Communications article Matthew Collins, a PhD student from CUDOS at the University of Sydney.

"For that reason the quantum science community has been waiting over a decade for a compact optical chip that delivers exactly one photon at a time at very high rates."

In fact, the creation of a single photon in an optical circuit has been possible for some years, but previous demonstrations have been difficult to implement and scale up or have been excessively noisy. This has limited the single photon technology to being either very slow or having a high probability of error.

"We've shown how multiple imperfect sources of photons on a single chip can be combined to produce a much higher quality source," said Dr Clark.

The photons here are generated from a pulsed laser. "A key breakthrough for this research was the CUDOS development of photonic chips that slow light," said Professor Ben Eggleton, CUDOS Director and co-author of the research. "This makes single photon generation more likely, reducing energy demands and allowing extremely compact devices with lengths no longer than 200 microns, the width of a human hair."

"The smaller these systems are, the more we can fit onto a chip, and the more we can fit onto a chip the more likely we are to guarantee a single photon when we want it," said co-author Associate Professor Michael Steel (Macquarie University), CUDOS' Science Leader for Quantum Integrated Photonics.

The next step is to integrate all the components of this scheme onto a single chip so that an on-demand 'push button' single photon source can be deployed in future photonic quantum technologies.

"This result presents a major milestone for the Centre and for the field. We are especially pleased with the successful collaboration between CUDOS and DSTO," said Professor Eggleton.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Sydney. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. M.J. Collins, C. Xiong, I.H. Rey, T.D. Vo, J. He, S. Shahnia, C. Reardon, T.F. Krauss, M.J. Steel, A.S. Clark, B.J. Eggleton. Integrated spatial multiplexing of heralded single-photon sources. Nature Communications, 2013; 4 DOI: 10.1038/ncomms3582

Cite This Page:

University of Sydney. "Compact optical chips? Photons on demand now possible." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 11 October 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/10/131011093640.htm>.
University of Sydney. (2013, October 11). Compact optical chips? Photons on demand now possible. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 16, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/10/131011093640.htm
University of Sydney. "Compact optical chips? Photons on demand now possible." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/10/131011093640.htm (accessed September 16, 2014).

Share This



More Matter & Energy News

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Manufacturer Prints 3-D Car In Record Time

Manufacturer Prints 3-D Car In Record Time

Newsy (Sep. 15, 2014) — Automobile manufacturer Local Motors created a drivable electric car using a 3-D printer. Printing the body only took 44 hours. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Refurbished New York Subway Tunnel Unveiled After Sandy Damage

Refurbished New York Subway Tunnel Unveiled After Sandy Damage

Reuters - US Online Video (Sep. 15, 2014) — New York officials unveil subway tunnels that were refurbished after Superstorm Sandy. Nathan Frandino reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Frustration As Drone Industry Outpaces Regulation In U.S.

Frustration As Drone Industry Outpaces Regulation In U.S.

Newsy (Sep. 14, 2014) — U.S. firms worry they’re falling behind in the marketplace as the FAA considers how to regulate commercial drones. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Smart Gun Innovators Fear Backlash From Gun Rights Advocates

Smart Gun Innovators Fear Backlash From Gun Rights Advocates

Newsy (Sep. 14, 2014) — Winners of a contest for smart gun design are asking not to be named after others in the industry received threats for marketing similar products. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins