Researchers at the Institute of Materials Science (ICMUV) of the University of Valencia has developed an optical quantum switch that modifies the emission properties of photons. The new device works with ultra-fast switching times and very low energy consumption and, in comparison to other designs, it can be implemented in a variety of semiconductor platforms and is of great application in current quantum technologies.
The operation principle of the device is based on the nano-structured semiconductor quantum confinement technology, which are small structures (quantum dots) of nanometric size capable of absorbing and emitting light.
One of the outstanding properties of the new device (quantum dots of indium arsenide – InAs) is that next to the temporary switching, a switching of the color of the emitted photon (its wavelength) can be added if two different lasers are used. This property allows multiplexing photons by wavelength (combining two or more channels of information in a transmission medium), so that each color of the photon is associated with one of these channels.
The paper has been published in Communications Physics. (Phys.org)