Nanotechnology Now





Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button


DHgate

Home > Press > Light Touch: Controlling the Behavior of Quantum Dots

(Top) Cross-section scanning tunneling microscope (STM) image shows indium arsenide quantum dot regions embedded in gallium arsenide. Each 'dot' is approximately 30 nanometers long–faint lines are individual rows of atoms. (Color added for clarity.) Credit: J.R. Tucker
(Bottom) Schematic of NIST-JQI experimental set up. Orienting the resonant laser at a right angle to the quantum dot light minimizes scattering. Credit: Solomon/NIST
(Top) Cross-section scanning tunneling microscope (STM) image shows indium arsenide quantum dot regions embedded in gallium arsenide. Each 'dot' is approximately 30 nanometers long–faint lines are individual rows of atoms. (Color added for clarity.) Credit: J.R. Tucker (Bottom) Schematic of NIST-JQI experimental set up. Orienting the resonant laser at a right angle to the quantum dot light minimizes scattering. Credit: Solomon/NIST

Abstract:
Researchers from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and the Joint Quantum Institute (JQI), a collaborative center of the University of Maryland and NIST, have reported a new way to fine-tune the light coming from quantum dots by manipulating them with pairs of lasers. Their technique, published in Physical Review Letters,* could significantly improve quantum dots as a source of pairs of "entangled" photons, a property with important applications in quantum information technologies. The accomplishment could accelerate development of powerful advanced cryptography applications, projected to be a key 21st-century technology.

Light Touch: Controlling the Behavior of Quantum Dots

GAITHERSBURG, MD | Posted on August 19th, 2008

Entangled photons are a peculiar consequence of quantum mechanics. Tricky to generate, they remain interconnected even when separated by large distances. Merely observing one instantaneously affects the properties of the other. The entanglement can be used in quantum communication to pass an encryption key that is by its nature completely secure, as any attempt to eavesdrop or intercept the key would be instantly detected. One goal of the NIST-JQI team is to develop quantum dots as a convenient source of entangled photons.

Quantum dots are nanoscale regions of a semiconductor material similar to the material in computer processors but with special properties due to their tiny dimensions. Though they can be composed of tens of thousands of atoms, quantum dots in many ways behave almost as if they were single atoms. Unfortunately, almost is not good enough when it comes to the fragile world of quantum cryptography and next-generation information technologies. When energized, a quantum dot emits photons, or "particles" of light, just as a solitary atom does. But imperfections in the shape of a quantum dot cause what should be overlapping energy levels to separate. This ruins the delicate balance of the ideal state required to emit entangled photons.

To overcome this problem, the NIST-JQI team uses lasers to precisely control the energy levels of quantum dots, just as physicists have been doing with actual single atoms since the mid-1970s and, much more recently, with the artificial quantum dot variety. With their customized set-up, which includes two lasers—one shining from above the quantum dot and the other illuminating it from the side—the researchers were able to manipulate energy states in a quantum dot and directly measure its emissions. By adjusting the intensity of the laser beams, they were able to correct for imperfection-caused variations and generate more ideal signals. In so doing, the team was the first to demonstrate that laser-tuned quantum dots can efficiently generate photons one at a time, as required for quantum cryptography and other applications.

While the device currently still requires quite cold temperatures and sits in a liquid helium bath, it is compact enough to fit in the palm of your hand—an elegant setup that could be eventually implemented in quantum cryptography applications.

* A. Muller, W. Fang, J. Lawall and G.S. Solomon. Emission spectrum of a dressed exciton-biexciton complex in semiconductor quantum dot. Physical Review Letters, 101, 027401 (2008), posted online July 11, 2008.

####

About NIST
Founded in 1901, NIST is a non-regulatory federal agency within the U.S. Department of Commerce. NIST's mission is to promote U.S. innovation and industrial competitiveness by advancing measurement science, standards, and technology in ways that enhance economic security and improve our quality of life.

For more information, please click here

Contacts:
Mark Bello

(301) 975-3776

Copyright © NIST

If you have a comment, please Contact us.

Issuers of news releases, not 7th Wave, Inc. or Nanotechnology Now, are solely responsible for the accuracy of the content.

Bookmark:
Delicious Digg Newsvine Google Yahoo Reddit Magnoliacom Furl Facebook

Related News Press

News and information

A 'movie' of ultrafast rotating molecules at a hundred billion per second: A quantum wave-like nature was successfully observed in rotating nitrogen molecules July 4th, 2015

New Biosensor Produced in Iran to Detect Effective Drugs in Cancer Treatment July 4th, 2015

Clues to inner atomic life from subtle light-emission shifts: Hyperfine structure of light absorption by short-lived cadmium atom isotopes reveals characteristics of the nucleus that matter for high precision detection methods July 3rd, 2015

Pioneering Southampton scientist awarded prestigious physics medal July 3rd, 2015

Quantum Computing

The quantum middle man July 2nd, 2015

Freezing single atoms to absolute zero with microwaves brings quantum technology closer: Atoms frozen to absolute zero using microwaves July 2nd, 2015

Producing spin-entangled electrons July 2nd, 2015

Opening a new route to photonics Berkeley lab researchers find way to control light in densely packed nanowaveguides June 27th, 2015

Discoveries

A 'movie' of ultrafast rotating molecules at a hundred billion per second: A quantum wave-like nature was successfully observed in rotating nitrogen molecules July 4th, 2015

New Biosensor Produced in Iran to Detect Effective Drugs in Cancer Treatment July 4th, 2015

Clues to inner atomic life from subtle light-emission shifts: Hyperfine structure of light absorption by short-lived cadmium atom isotopes reveals characteristics of the nucleus that matter for high precision detection methods July 3rd, 2015

Groundbreaking research to help control liquids at micro and nano scales July 3rd, 2015

Announcements

A 'movie' of ultrafast rotating molecules at a hundred billion per second: A quantum wave-like nature was successfully observed in rotating nitrogen molecules July 4th, 2015

New Biosensor Produced in Iran to Detect Effective Drugs in Cancer Treatment July 4th, 2015

Clues to inner atomic life from subtle light-emission shifts: Hyperfine structure of light absorption by short-lived cadmium atom isotopes reveals characteristics of the nucleus that matter for high precision detection methods July 3rd, 2015

Pioneering Southampton scientist awarded prestigious physics medal July 3rd, 2015

Quantum Dots/Rods

Producing spin-entangled electrons July 2nd, 2015

Philips Introduces Quantum Dot TV with Color IQ™ Technology from QD Vision: Manufacturer is first to offer quantum dot displays for both TVs and monitors June 30th, 2015

Biomanufacturing of CdS quantum dots: A bacterial method for the low-cost, environmentally-friendly synthesis of aqueous soluble quantum dot nanocrystals June 24th, 2015

Iranian Researchers Model, Design Optical Switches June 13th, 2015

Photonics/Optics/Lasers

Pioneering Southampton scientist awarded prestigious physics medal July 3rd, 2015

Making new materials with micro-explosions: ANU media release: Scientists have made exotic new materials by creating laser-induced micro-explosions in silicon, the common computer chip material June 29th, 2015

Opening a new route to photonics Berkeley lab researchers find way to control light in densely packed nanowaveguides June 27th, 2015

The quantum spin Hall effect is a fundamental property of light June 25th, 2015

NanoNews-Digest
The latest news from around the world, FREE




  Premium Products
NanoNews-Custom
Only the news you want to read!
 Learn More
NanoTech-Transfer
University Technology Transfer & Patents
 Learn More
NanoStrategies
Full-service, expert consulting
 Learn More










ASP
Nanotechnology Now Featured Books




NNN

The Hunger Project