Quantum technology to be enhanced by NRL's golden touch

WASHINGTON. Scientists at the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) discovered a new platform for quantum technologies by suspending 2-D crystals over pores in a slab of gold. Researchers claim this new approach may help develop new materials for secure communication and sensing technologies based on the atomic-level physics.

According to the NRL, the process was assumed to result in dewetting, which results from interaction between surfaces of two solids. Instead of droplets forming on the glass base underneath the gold, heating caused a reorientation of the underlying metal slab.

The gold became porous throughout and this physical change led researchers to test for other side effects of the merger. Researchers then verified light emanating from the 2-D semiconductors, coming out as single light particles, or photons.

These emitters can transfer energy to each other through the gold layer, which makes it an ideal system for quantum technology. Sensor capabilities could benefit from these technologies, according to the NRL.