Scientists create artificial atoms that make up single photons, an advance that can be a major step in efforts to develop all-optical quantum computing.  Artificial atoms – working in air and at room temperature – were created through drilling holes in a thin two-dimensional sheet of hexagonal boron nitride with galliu m-focus ion beam.
"Our work provides a source of single photons that can act as carriers of quantum information or as qubits. We measure these sources, creating the many we want, where we want," says Benjamin J German, from the University of Oregon to the US.
"We want to pattern the single photon emitters in circuits or networks into a microchip so they can talk to one another, or to other existing queries, such as spins of solid-state or superconducting circuit qubits, "said the German.
Artificial atoms have been discovered three years ago in flakes of 2D hexagonal boron nitride, a single insulating layer of alternating boron and nitrogen atoms in a lattice also known as white graphene.
Researchers use explorations to make and use photons as sources of photon and qubit single in quantum photonic circuits.
Traditional The techniques for using quantum research atoms are focused on extracting atoms or ions, and manipulating their spin on lasers so they show quantum superposition, or the ability to be at the same time of "off" and
However, such work requires vacuum work at extremely cold temperatures with sophisticated equipment.
Due to the observation that artificial atoms are often located near the edges, researchers first create edges of white graphene by drilling around 500 nanometers in diameter and four nanometers deep .
These devices are then annealed to oxygen at 850 degrees Celsius to remove carbon and other remaining material and to activate emitters.
Confocal microscopy revealed tiny light spots coming from the drilled regions. Zooming in, the German team found that individual bright spots emit light at the lowest possible level – a single photon at a time.
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Individual photons conceivably can be used as small, ultra-sensitive thermometers, distributing quantum keys, or to transfer, store and process totals According to the study published in the journal Nano Letters.
"The great success is that we have discovered a simple, scalable way to nanofabricate artificial atoms into a microchip, and the artificial atom works in air and in room temperature," says German.
"Our artificial atoms will provide many new and powerful technologies in the future, they can be used for safer, more secure, highly private communications, and more powerful computers that can design life-saving drugs and help scientists develop a deeper understanding of the universe by calculating the totality, "he says.