Physicists from Bristol and Trent University have developed the first photon source, which will find application in technologies quantum Photonics. Article researchers published in the journal Nature Communications.

Quantum Photonics is a relative young field of physics, the opening of which, however, can have a significant impact on modern science and society. Based on the devices in Photonics of quantum computing systems will be significantly more powerful than modern supercomputers and will be able to solve tasks such as finding new materials and medicines.

Integrated devices for quantum Photonics is a promising platform for the development of quantum technologies. All this thanks to their ability to generate photons — the quanta of light and manage in complex optical circuits. The use of CMOS — set of semiconductor technologies for integrated circuits allows integration scheme, equivalent to thousands of optical fibres and components into a single chip the size of a few millimeters.

The use of integrated Photonics for the development of scalable quantum technologies in high demand. An important issue that limits the scaling of integrated quantum Photonics is the lack of on-chip sources capable of generating single photons. Without such sources of error in the quantum calculations can quickly accumulate with increasing complexity of the scheme, with the result that the calculations cease to be reliable. In addition, optical losses in the sources limit the number of photons in a quantum computer can create and edit.

Now researchers from the University of Bristol have found a way to solve this problem. They developed the first integrated photon source that is compatible with large devices, quantum Photonics. To achieve high-quality photons, scientists have created a new technique which was called “intermodal spontaneous four-wave mixing”. This method assumes that the nonlinear interference of several modes of light propagating through a silicon waveguide. As a result, creates the ideal conditions for the generation of single photons.

Source test showed its high efficiency and potential applicability in the actual circuit. In addition, according to the authors, the new device can be fabricated using are already used in industrial CMOS technology. This means that the new source of photons may soon become part of the computing devices of new generation.