Researchers at Yokohama National University have successfully teleported quantum information securely within the confines of a diamond. The team says that the study has significant implications for quantum information technology and for how data is stored and shared in the future. Researcher Hideo Kosaka says that quantum teleportation permits the transfer of quantum information into an otherwise inaccessible space.
He says that it also allows the transfer of information into a quantum memory without revealing or destroying the stored quantum information. In the experiment, the team ran the inaccessible space they uses were carbon atoms inside a diamond. Those atoms are made of linked but individually contained carbon atmos.
Each carbon atom has six protons and six neutrons in the nucleus surrounded by six spinning electrons. When they bond into a diamond, the lattice they create is notoriously strong. However, diamonds can have defects where a nitrogen atom exists in one of two adjacent vacancies where carbon atoms should be; this is a nitrogen-vacancy center. When surrounded by carbon atoms, the nucleus structure of the nitrogen atom creates what Kosaka calls a nanomagnet.
The researchers connect a wire about a quarter of the width of a human hair to the diamond. A microwave and a radio wave are applied to the wire to build an oscillating magnetic field around the diamond. The microwave is shaped to create optimal and controlled conditions for the transfer of quantum information inside the diamond. The nitrogen nanomagnet is used to anchor an electron.
Using the microwave and radio waves, the researcher was able to force the spin to entangle with a carbon nuclear spin. The election spin breaks down under a magnetic field created by the nanomagnet to allow it to become susceptible to entanglement. Once entangled, the physical characteristics are so intertwined that they can’t be described individually. A photon holding quantum information is applied, and the electron absorbs the photon. That allows the polarization state of the photon to be transferred into the carbon, demonstrating the teleportation of information at a quantum level. The team wants to realize scalable quantum repeaters for long-haul quantum communications.