Breakthrough in Quantum Communications Achieved with Diamond Stretching Technology
A major breakthrough in quantum communications has been achieved thanks to a new diamond stretching technology that increases the operating temperature of qubits and makes it easier to control them with microwaves.
Quantum networking is an emerging field that uses peculiar quantum phenomena to send and receive messages. One of the key processes in quantum networking is “quantum key distribution,” a method that cannot be cracked. Entangled photon technology enables long-distance transmission with paired qubits influencing each other’s quantum states without any physical connection.
Diamond-based qubit pairs can maintain entangled states for extended periods, but they are extremely sensitive to heat and vibration, requiring them to be kept at a temperature slightly higher than absolute zero. This limitation necessitates the use of energy-intensive cooling devices at every communication node of the quantum network, severely limiting its practicality.
A team of researchers from the University of Chicago, Argonne National Laboratory, and the University of Cambridge has made a groundbreaking discovery in the field. By stretching diamond films to change the molecular lattice, they have increased the operating temperature of the qubits and made them easier to control.
The researchers laid a layer of diamond film on top of hot glass, and during the cooling process, the glass shrunk less than diamond, slightly stretching the atomic structure of the diamond. This stretching has a significant impact on the behavior of materials, increasing the temperature at which diamond qubits can maintain entanglement to -269°C from just above absolute zero.
Additionally, this new method makes it feasible to use microwaves to control qubits, improving the information fidelity. Scientists believe that by extending the coherence time and utilizing microwaves for quantum control, a clear path for the development of diamond-based qubit networks has been paved.
The findings of the research have been published in the journal Physical Review X. The breakthrough brings hope for the advancement of quantum communications and networking, opening up new possibilities for secure and efficient communication in the future.