Metasurface for Multiphoton Interference

Artist’s impression of the metasurface camera lens to image several quantum particles of light at once. (Source: K. Wang)

An inter­national team of researchers led by the Australian National Uni­versity ANU has invented a tiny camera lens, which may lead to a device that links quantum computers to an optical fibre network. Quantum com­puters promise a new era in ultra-secure networks, artificial intelli­gence and thera­peutic drugs, and will be able to solve certain problems much faster than today’s computers. The uncon­ventional lens could enable a fast and reliable transfer of quantum information from the new-age computers to a network, once these techno­logies are fully realised.

The device is made of a silicon film with millions of nano-structures forming a meta­surface, which can control light with func­tionalities outper­forming tradi­tional systems. Andrey Sukhoru­kov said the metasurface camera lens was highly transparent, thereby enabling effi­cient trans­mission and detection of infor­mation encoded in quantum light.

“It is the first of its kind to image several quantum particles of light at once, enabling the obser­vation of their spooky behaviour with ultra-sensi­tive cameras,” said Sukhoru­kov, who led the research with a team of scien­tists at the Nonlinear Physics Centre of the ANU Research School of Physics and Engineering.

Kai Wang, a PhD scholar at the Nonlinear Physics Centre who worked on all aspects of the project, said one challenge was making portable quantum tech­nologies. “Our device offers a compact, inte­grated and stable solution for mani­pulating quantum light. It is fabri­cated with a similar kind of manu­facturing technique used by Intel and NVIDIA for computer chips.” he said. (Source: ANU)

Reference: K. Wang et al.: Quantum metasurface for multiphoton interference and state reconstruction, Science 361, 1104 (2018); DOI: 10.1126/science.aat8196

Link: Nonlinear Physics Centre, Research School of Physics and Engineering, Australian National University ANU, Canberra, Australia

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