PerspectiveQuantum Information

Overcoming quantum decoherence with plasmonics

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Science  10 May 2019:
Vol. 364, Issue 6440, pp. 532-533
DOI: 10.1126/science.aax3766

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Photons occupy a special place as carriers of quantum information because they propagate information at the speed of light, with almost zero cross-talk, and interact relatively weakly with matter. They are primary candidates for implementing quantum networks (1), which are essential for both secure communication and transmission of quantum information. Nonclassical states of light (such as squeezed states) are also used in quantum simulation and emerging quantum sensing approaches. However, the robustness of photons as carriers of quantum information is a double-edged sword. In order to produce single photons or make them interact with each other, light must couple with matter. Photonic technologies, especially those implemented with nanoscale plasmonic metamaterials, can enable these interactions and help realize the full potential of photons in quantum information technology.