Quantum Networks

A dynamic quantum memory

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Science  12 Feb 2021:
Vol. 371, Issue 6530, pp. 688-689
DOI: 10.1126/science.371.6530.688-e

Photons, being robust and fast, are ideal carriers of quantum information in long-distance quantum networks. For a practical communication platform, the photons also need to be manipulated at the local level at nodes or exchange points across the network, and this requires information to be reliably encoded, stored, and retrieved from the photonic qubits. Craiciu et al. demonstrate such functionality using an ensemble of erbium ions embedded within a solid-state matrix of yttrium orthosilicate. With the ions operating as a dynamic quantum memory for photons at communication wavelengths and the approach being compatible with integrated photonics, the results offer promise for possible integration into large-scale optical fiber networks.

Optica 8, 114 (2021).

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