A team of researchers from the Yokohama National University in Japan has done something very cool that nobody has ever done before. They have managed teleport quantum information securely into one of the hardest structures on the planet, the diamond. This achievement could have significant implications for quantum information technology – the future of how sensitive information is shared and stored.
“Quantum teleportation permits the transfer of quantum information into an otherwise inaccessible space,” according to Hideo Kosaka, a professor of engineering at Yokohama National University and an author on the study. “It also permits the transfer of information into a quantum memory without revealing or destroying the stored quantum information.”
The ‘inaccessible space’ explored in the study consists of carbon atoms in diamond. The structure of diamond is made of linked, yet individually contained, carbon atoms which have six protons and six neutrons in the nucleus, with six spinning electrons around it. As the atoms bond into a diamond, they form a notoriously strong lattice.
For their study, the researchers focused on defects that sometimes arise in diamonds, when a nitrogen atom appears in vacancies that would ordinarily house carbon atoms.
Kosaka and his team attached a wire about a quarter the width of a human hair to the surface of a diamond to manipulate an electron and a carbon isotope inside a diamond defect known to the science community as a nitrogen-vacancy center.
To do this, they constructed an oscillating magnetic field around the diamond, then used microwave and radio waves to entangle the electron and the carbon atom’s nucleus.
Researchers then controlled the microwaves sent to the diamond to transfer information within it. Primarily they used nitrogen Nanomagnets to transfer the polarization states of the photon to the carbon atom, effectively achieving teleportation.
After the researchers had the electron absorb a photon holding quantum information, they saw the photon’s polarization state transferred to the carbon, which means they had successfully transported the quantum information.
“The success of the photon storage in the other node establishes the entanglement between two adjacent nodes,” Kosaka said. Called quantum repeaters, the process can take individual chunks of information from node to node, across the quantum field.
“Our ultimate goal is to realize scalable quantum repeaters for long-haul quantum communications and distributed quantum computers for large-scale quantum computation and metrology,” Kosaka said.
The study is published in the journal Communications Physics.