Google Play icon

Advancing secure communications: A better single-photon emitter for quantum cryptography

Share
Posted April 10, 2013
An atomic force microscope image of a nanowire single photon emitter. Credit: Pallab Bhattacharya

An atomic force microscope image of a nanowire single photon emitter. Credit: Pallab Bhattacharya

In a development that could make the advanced form of secure communications known as quantum cryptography more practical, University of Michigan researchers have demonstrated a simpler, more efficient single-photon emitter that can be made using traditional semiconductor processing techniques.

Single-photon emitters release one particle of light, or photon, at a time, as opposed to devices like lasers that release a stream of them. Single-photon emitters are essential for quantum cryptography, which keeps secrets safe by taking advantage of the so-called observer effect: The very act of an eavesdropper listening in jumbles the message. This is because in the quantum realm, observing a system always changes it.

For quantum cryptography to work, it’s necessary to encode the message—which could be a bank password or a piece of military intelligence, for example—just one photon at a time. That way, the sender and the recipient will know whether anyone has tampered with the message.

While the U-M researchers didn’t make the first single-photon emitter, they say their new device improves upon the current technology and is much easier to make.

Read more at: Phys.org

Featured news from related categories:

Technology Org App
Google Play icon
86,058 science & technology articles

Most Popular Articles

  1. NASA Scientists Confirm Water Vapor on Europa (November 19, 2019)
  2. Universe is a Sphere and Not Flat After All According to a New Research (November 7, 2019)
  3. How Do We Colonize Ceres? (November 21, 2019)
  4. Scientists Reverse Dementia in Mice with Anti Inflammatory Drugs (5 days old)
  5. This Artificial Leaf Turns Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide Into Fuel (November 8, 2019)

Follow us

Facebook   Twitter   Pinterest   Tumblr   RSS   Newsletter via Email