Tiny Optical Cavity Could Make Quantum Networks Possible

Ytterbium ion in a nanophotonic cavity

Ytterbium ion in a nanophotonic cavity

Professor Andrei Faraon and team have shown that atoms in optical cavities—tiny boxes for light—could be foundational to the creation of a quantum internet. They identified a rare-earth ytterbium ion in the center of a beam. The ytterbium ions are able to store information in their spin for 30 milliseconds. In this time, light could transmit information to travel across the continental United States. "It's a rare-earth ion that absorbs and emits photons in exactly the way we'd need to create a quantum network," says Faraon. "This could form the backbone technology for the quantum internet." [Caltech story]

Professor Andrei Faraon

Professor Andrei Faraon

Tags: APhMS EE research highlights Andrei Faraon Andrei Ruskuc Jake Rochman John Bartholomew Yan Qi Huan