Building a quantum internet with “artificial atoms”

The project of a research team of the Bicocca University of Milan to create online communications that are proof of interception and information theft

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Building a quantum internet with
Building a quantum internet with "artificial atoms"

The optical fiber enables internet to travel at very high speeds but if the signal is transmitted through a network of quantum nodes through which run the flying qubitphotons traveling over long distances at the speed of light, would become communications proof interception doing drastically reduce the risk of information theft.

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This idea is based on the recent research published in Nature Materials, entitled Droplet epitaxy of semiconductor nanostructures for quantum photonic devices, and conducted by Stefano Sanguinetti, the team led by the professor of matter physics of the University of Milan-Bicocca.

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According to Sanguinetti, to implement the use of a reliable quantum internet it is first of all necessary to develop a quantum light source that can supply photons, corpuscular particles of light, able to carry the internet signal.

Among the currently existing quantum light sources, the platforms that generate photons and are based on the quantum dot technology of the semiconductors, seem to have what it takes to meet the requirements of the project.

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These photons, also called “artificial atoms”, would allow a strong integration with other photonic and electronic components, such as miniaturized chips, which would then allow to create the basis for the emission of the quantum internet signal.

The Sanguinetti group is at the forefront in the study and manufacture of these artificial atoms, having developed an innovative technology for their production. To do this they made use of international collaborations involving Japanese research centers (Nims Tsukuba), European (Jku Linz and University of Florence) and Chinese (University of Electronic Science and Technology, Chengdu).

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The dream of an Internet quantum is still far away,” explains Stefano Sanguinetti, “even though commercial communication systems based on quantum cryptography are already available, offering greater security because they use keys encoded in the states of quantum systems (photons) that are exchanged within the network ”.

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