Items tagged with "photonic crystal"
Scientists have created a crystal structure that boosts the interaction between tiny bursts of light and individual electrons, an advance that could be a significant step toward establishing quantum networks in the future.
Quantum dots are effectively “artificial atoms.” They are nanocrystals of semiconductor wherein an electron-hole pair can be trapped. The nanometer size is comparable to the wavelength of light and so, just like in an atom, the electron can occupy discrete energy levels. The dots can be confined in a photonic crystal cavity, where they can be probed with laser light.
Photonic crystals (PCs) are extremely small structures, typically no more than a few micrometers on a side, which are made of alternating regions of insulating material and air. One way this can be achieved is by drilling or etching holes in the material at regular intervals in a grid pattern. A beam of photons passing through a PC thus experiences periodic changes in refractive index – high in the insulator, low in the air holes.