Ion trap for quantum computing | Credit: NQIT/Stuart Bebb
Ion trap for quantum computing
Photonics is another way of saying optical-wiring, and is about creating, manipulating and detecting single photons – elementary particles of light. Photons will serve as messengers between the components of the Q20:20 machine, distributing information between nodes and thus facilitating communication between the building blocks of the device. They form the ‘wires’ of the Q20:20 machine, and as such require flexible routing through integrated circuits.

One highlight of our photonics research is the development of enhanced versions of these circuits that are smaller in size and more resilient compared to established techniques.

In addition, we have improved on the technology for storing photons, an essential component of photonic networks. By tailoring the storage operation, we managed to reduce thermal noise, which renders current devices unsuitable for operating with single photons, by a factor of three.

Some of the anticipated spin-out technologies as a direct result of photonics research include quantum random number generation, quantum simulation, and the development of single-photon sources.