An optical quantum computer with the potential computing power to engineer new drugs and save energy is a major step closer to reality, thanks to a project led by Associate Professor Mirko Lobino, an ARC Future Fellow from Griffith University’s Centre for Quantum Dynamics and Queensland Micro and Nanotechnology Centre.

Professor Lobino worked in collaboration with The Australian National University and the University of New South Wales-Canberra nodes of the ARC Centre of Excellence for Quantum Computation and Communication Technology to investigate an optical microchip that has most of the basic functionality required for creating future quantum computers.

Their optical microchip is the first to generate, manipulate and detect a particular state of light called squeezed vacuum, which is an essential resource for a fundamental protocol of quantum computation. The integration of these three basic steps brings us closer to the reality of an optical quantum computer.

The microchip has components that are connected by tiny channels called waveguides to guide light around, in a similar way that wires connect different parts of an electric circuit.

Image: Associate Professor Mirko Lobino works on the microchip.
Credit: Griffith University.