Quantum dots crack codes

Researchers at the University of Michigan have demonstrated the use of quantum dot spectroscopy in cracking highly encrypted codes in a matter of seconds.

By using short pulses of light to create light-matter interactions in quantum dots, tiny particles that change with the addition or deletion of electrons, the researchers found they could control the frequency in the optical network.

This technology would power an optically driven quantum computer, which is capable of cracking highly encrypted codes in seconds, while the fastest existing desktop computer would take 20 years.

‘Quantum computers are capable of massive parallel computations,’ said Duncan Steel, project leader and professor at Michigan’s department of electrical engineering and computer science and the department of physics. ‘That’s why these machines are so fast.’

According to Steel, the technology also has cost benefits.

‘We’re particularly excited about our findings because they show that we can achieve these results by using quantum dots and readily available, relatively inexpensive optical telecommunications technology,’ he said. ‘Quantum dots replace transistors in these computers, and our results show that it only takes a few billionths of a watt to drive it.’

The researchers are also exploring further applications of quantum dot systems, such as quantum dot dressed state lasers, optical modulators and quantum logic devices.

Experts from the University of California-San Diego and the Naval Research Laboratory also contributed to the research.