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Combination of Nanophotonics and Plasmonics Can Lead to Novel Quantum Information Systems

Scientists are investigating the possibility of combining two emerging technologies, plasmonics and nanophotonics to create a new quantum information system, which will be much more powerful than computers.

This is an image of structures called "metamaterials" and the merging of two technologies under development are promising the emergence of new "quantum information systems" far more powerful than today's computers. Credit: Zubin Jacob

The new technology will use metamaterials, which are artificial nanostructures with excellent properties and single light photons, which are essential for routing and switching. When the metamaterials are combined with photons, it could lead to the creation of a new technology, which will use quantum light.

Quantum light has the capacity to be quicker than traditional integrated circuits. While some research teams are focussing on using nanowires to combine plasmons and photons, other research teams are investigating the use of metamaterials. Computers developed through this quantum technology will process information in quantum bits or qubits since various quantum states can exist between zero and one. However the challenge is to retain the quantum information for a longer period of time enabling to read and record it. Diamond,along with nitrogen vacancies can be used to overcome this problem since the nitrogen vacancy in diamond has the ability to operate at a broad spectrum and at room temperature.

This research is part of a broader research programme, which is called diamond photonics. The concept of this approach has been published in the journal Science.

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