(BusinessStandard) Scientists have created artificial atoms that generate single photons, an advance that may be a big step in efforts to develop all-optical quantum computing. “Our work provides a source of single photons that could act as carriers of quantum information or as qubits. We’ve patterned these sources, creating as many as we want, where we want,” said Benjamin J. Aleman, from University of Oregon.
Artificial atoms were discovered three years ago in flakes of 2D hexagonal boron nitride, a single insulating layer of alternating boron and nitrogen atoms in a lattice that is also known as white graphene. The artificial atoms — which work in air and at room temperature — were created by drilling holes into a thin two-dimensional sheet of hexagonal boron nitride with a gallium-focused ion beam.
“Our artificial atoms will enable lots of new and powerful technologies. In the future, they could be used for safer, more secure, totally private communications, and much more powerful computers that could design life-saving drugs and help scientists gain a deeper understanding of the universe through quantum computation,” Aleman said.