Australian Scientists Just Solved One Of The Biggest Quantum Computing Challenges Using Material Found In DVDs

Image: NASA

In quantum technology, information is carried on quibits, single photons. For the quibits to be actually useful in quantum technologies, though, they need to be produced by Single Photon Emitters that work at room temperature (it's just practical, really) and at telecom wavelength (the most efficient way to transfer information via optical fibres) all at once.

It wasn't easy, but they've done it. Those plucky Australian Scientists have gone and done it. And they did it using a material found in DVDs.

University of Sydney Researchers - collaborating with Nanyang Technological University of Singapore researchers - have now for the first time, created an SPE that can create useful quibits - using Gallium Nitride to make a semi-conductor.

Working out a "technologically viable material" for SPE is an important step, says Professor Igor Aharonovich. Dr Aharonovich is deputy-director of the Institute for Biomedical Materials and Devices, and an author on the paper.

"This discovery will bring quantum technologies to reality much faster," Dr Aharonovich says.

Gallium Nitride (or GaN) is a commercially available blue-light semiconductor most often used in DVDs.

The research team pumped etched GaN wafers with laser light to produce the single photon emissions.

UTS physicist, Dr Sejeong Kim, is an author on the paper. Dr Kim says that semiconductor technology is "mature" which is an advantage, because the material is relatively easy to fabricate and large wafers are available "off-the-shelf".

"High performance SPEs embedded in a technologically mature semiconductor are promising for on-chip quantum simulators and practical quantum communication technologies," she says.

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