In the future, devices enabled by quantum technologies will impact many areas of society. These systems will range from full-blown quantum computers, to miniaturized sensors and small, specialized nodes like quantum memories. The power and capability of this ecosystem depends on its interconnectivity, with the natural consequence that researchers worldwide are racing to develop a “quantum internet”.
Research at the TII’s Quantum Communications lab contributes to this global effort, developing chip-scale devices that emit entangled photon pairs, or single photons. To achieve this we work with nonlinear processes such as three- and four-wave mixing, in both optical crystals and semiconductors like Silicon. Working with collaborators in Singapore and Europe, we are also interested in the heterogenous integration two-dimensional materials, which have recently been shown to host lattice defects exhibiting high quality single photon emission.
With the imminent arrival of quantum computers, today’s secure communications face an unprecedented threat. To this end our team also maintains a research line in quantum key distribution (QKD). This family of communications protocols uses the exchange of quantum signals to enable a form of ultra-secure communications, independent of the computing power available to a would-be eavesdropper. By developing and testing QKD devices in the UAE, we hope to produce solutions optimized for the region, ensuring the availability of private communications for years to come.