Friday, 14 September 2018 11:41

Tiny camera lens could link quantum computers to network

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Kai Wang holding a sample that has multiple metasurface camera lenses. Kai Wang holding a sample that has multiple metasurface camera lenses. Lannon Harley, ANU

International researchers led by some from the Australian National University have invented a tiny camera lens that could lead to a device which can be used to link quantum computers to an optical fibre network.

The lens is 100 times thinner than a human hair and could enable the fast transfer of quantum information to a network, a statement from ANU said.

However, this was dependent on the other technologies being developed.

The lens is made of a silicon film with millions of nano-structures forming a metasurface. This can control light with functionalities outperforming traditional systems.

Associate Professor Andrey Sukhorukov said the metasurface camera lens was highly transparent and made efficient transmission and detection of information encoded in quantum light possible.

anu lens two

An artist's impression of the meta surface camera lens that can image several quantum particles of light at once.

“It is the first of its kind to image several quantum particles of light at once, enabling the observation of their spooky behaviour with ultra-sensitive cameras,” he said.

Sukhorukov led the research with a team at the Nonlinear Physics Centre of the ANU Research School of Physics and Engineering.

Kai Wang, a PhD scholar at the Nonlinear Physics Centre who worked on all aspects of the project, said one challenge was making portable quantum technologies.

“Our device offers a compact, integrated and stable solution for manipulating quantum light. It is fabricated with a similar kind of manufacturing technique used by Intel and NVIDIA for computer chips.” he said.

Staff and post-graduate scholars developed and tested the metasurface camera lens along with researchers at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory in the US and the National Central University in Taiwan.

The research has been published in Science.

Photo: Kai Wang

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Sam Varghese

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Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

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