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Tiny quantum storage device fits on a chip

The secret to shrinking is light-capturing ridges

2:00pm, August 31, 2017
quantum communication

PHOTON RECALL  A new supersmall device for storing quantum information could help expand the reach of future quantum communication networks.

A newfangled data storage device, which takes up less than a millionth the amount of space of its predecessors, could be a key component of futuristic communication systems.

Scientists fashioned a tiny crystal that stores snippets of quantum information — which unlike computer data “bits” that come only in 0s and 1s, can also exist as both 0 and 1 simultaneously. This crystal is the first quantum memory device of its kind that could fit on a chip alongside nano-sized instruments for detecting and sending signals written in quantum bits. This work, reported online August 31 in Science, improves prospects for establishing a widespread, ultrasecure network of quantum communications.

Crystal quantum memory devices hoard data by absorbing photons, each of which carry one quantum bit, or qubit, of data. Generally, the bigger the chunk of crystal, the greater the chance

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