Quantum tech developments by NRL could advance lasers and sensing

WASHINGTON. Researchers at the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) developed a new technique that could enable future advancements in quantum technology.

Graphic courtesy of U.S. Naval Research Laboratory.

The technique squeezes quantum dots, tiny particles made of thousands of atoms, to emit single photons (individual particles of light) with precisely the same wavelength and with positions that can be less than a millionth of a meter apart.

In order for quantum dots to interact, they have to emit light at the same wavelength. The size of a quantum dot determines this emission wavelength.

However, no two quantum dots have exactly the same size and shape upon initial creation. According to researchers, this makes it impossible to create quantum dots that emit light at the same wavelength.

Lead researchers at the NRL say this new technique could point to significant developments in optical computing, 'neuromorphic' computing based on a network of tiny lasers, communication, and sensing. This advancement could benefit applications in which space and power-efficiency are at a premium.