(Phys.org) Physicists from the University of Vienna and the Institute of Photonic Sciences in Barcelona have shown that tailored graphene structures enable single photons to interact with each other. This structure is a proposed new architecture for quantum computers.
Their proposed scheme makes use of several unique properties of graphene, each of which has been observed individually. The team in Vienna is currently performing experimental measurements on a similar graphene-based system to confirm the feasibility of their gate with current technology. Since the gate is naturally small, and operates at room temperature it should readily lend itself to being scaled up, as is required for many quantum technologies.
Graphene is a 2-D material discovered barely a decade ago consists of a single layer of carbon atoms arranged in a honeycomb structure, and, since its discovery, it has not stopped surprising us. For this particular purpose, the peculiar configuration of the electrons in graphene leads to both an extremely strong nonlinear interaction and plasmons that live for an exceptionally long time.