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Home > News > Nano Antenna Steers Photons

August 24th, 2010

Nano Antenna Steers Photons

Abstract:
Nano Antenna Steers Photons
A nanoscale version of a TV antenna directs light.

By Duncan Graham-Rowe
Tuesday, August 24, 2010


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A new optical antenna could improve the efficiency of devices that handle just a few photons at a time, such as quantum computers and quantum cryptography circuits. The antenna, which receives and transmits light in one direction, is a few hundred nanometers in size. With five nanoscopic gold bars of diminishing length sitting across one larger bar, it resembles a directional TV antenna.

Niek van Hulst, a professor at the Institute of Photonic Sciences in Barcelona, Spain, led the development of the nano-antenna. He says it could prove useful for quantum computing and quantum cryptography because it can transmit light in a single direction. Currently, the components used to emit and detect photons for these purposes do so in all directions. "It's very difficult to control where the photons go," he says.

Source:
technologyreview.com

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