Photon in a fibre

Published : Jan 06, 2016 12:30 IST

RESEARCHERS at the Vienna Centre for Quantum Science and Technology have demonstrated a nanofibre device that acts as an optical diode, allowing single photons to travel in only one direction. This work has been published in “Physical Review X”.

Light-based (photonic) circuits can potentially be faster and consume less power than electronic circuits. Photonic circuits will require many of the same components found in electronics, such as diodes, which allow light or currents to flow in one direction only. In the prototype developed by the researchers, the passage of individual photons through a fibre can be controlled by their interaction with cold atoms trapped in the vicinity of a nanometer-thin optical fibre. Proof-of-principle experiments have revealed a roughly 20-fold difference in the transmission of light moving in the two directions. The scheme can work on single photons, making it suitable for quantum optical networks, which operate at low levels of light.

R. Ramachandran

Sign in to Unlock member-only benefits!
  • Bookmark stories to read later.
  • Comment on stories to start conversations.
  • Subscribe to our newsletters.
  • Get notified about discounts and offers to our products.
Sign in


Comments have to be in English, and in full sentences. They cannot be abusive or personal. Please abide to our community guidelines for posting your comment