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First On-Chip Nanoscale Optical Quantum Memory Developed

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Artist's representation of Faraon's quantum memory device.

An international team has developed a computer chip with nanoscale optical quantum memory.

Credit: Ella Maru Studio

Researchers at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) say they have developed the first computer chip with nanoscale optical quantum memory, which enables it to use quantum mechanics to store data efficiently and securely.

"Such a device is an essential component for the future development of optical quantum networks that could be used to transmit quantum information," says Caltech professor Andrei Faraon. He says the new technology supports the extreme miniaturization of quantum memory devices, and enables better control of the interactions between individual photons and atoms.

Quantum memory stores information via the quantum properties of individual elementary particles, which in this case is a photon.

The researchers stored the photons by creating memory modules using optical cavities made from crystals doped with rare-earth ions. Each photon was absorbed efficiently by the rare-earth ions with the help of the cavity; the photons were released 75 nanoseconds later, and 97% of them had retained the information.

From Caltech News
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