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Offer: 552

Photon-based structuring

Laser-manufactured photonic chips for use in quantum computers.

The single-photon sources are found and analyzed by means of a laser (green).

Quantum computers working with single photons i.e., light particles, are expected to one day be calculating much faster than any previous computers. Single photons also play a role in novel systems for tap-proof transmission of messages. Such encoding is referred to as quantum cryptography and makes use of the fact that photons are subject to the laws of quantum physics. Each measurement, and also tapping, hence leaves traces. To manufacture photonic chips, a laser, in the first step, has been used so far for finding and analyzing the single photon sources on the carrier plate. In a second step, two-dimensional components are fabricated on the carrier plate by means of electron beam lithography. Transferring the carrier plate between the first machine for precharacterization and the second one for structuring creates an imprecision i.e., the chips can be manufactured with a precision of approximately 100 nanometers only. Researchers at KIT's Institute of Nanotechnology (INT) have simplified the method by using the same machine both for precharacterization and for fabricating the components by means of laser lithography. In addition, three-dimensional components can be fabricated by horizontally and vertically shifting the laser focus that exposes the photoresist. The non-exposed parts of the photoresist are subsequently dissolved chemically. The photonic chips obtained in that way have a precision of up to ten nanometers and, in addition to nanodiamonds, may contain other single-photon sources such as organic molecules or quantum dots consisting of semiconductor materials.

State of the art

Quantum computers and quantum encoding systems are based on photonic chips whose circuits carry photons instead of electrons. Diamonds sized a few nanometers are often used as single photon sources. In the lattices of these diamonds, one carbon atom site remains empty whereas one neighboring site is occupied by a nitrogen atom.

Technology

Researchers at KIT's Institute of Nanotechnology (INT) have simplified the method by using the same machine both for precharacterization and for fabricating the components by means of laser lithography. In addition, three-dimensional components can be fabricated by horizontally and vertically shifting the laser focus that exposes the photoresist. The non-exposed parts of the photoresist are subsequently dissolved chemically.

Advantages

The photonic chips obtained in that way have a precision of up to ten nanometers and, in addition to nanodiamonds, may contain other single-photon sources such as organic molecules or quantum dots consisting of semiconductor materials.

Options for companies

The KIT is looking for partners interested in enhancing and applying the technology described.

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Your contact person for this offer

Jan-Niklas Blötz, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT)
Innovation Manager New Materials, Climate and Environment, Innovation and Relations Management (IRM)
Phone: +49 721 608-26107

Email: jan-niklas.bloetz@kit.edu

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