Applications in quantum information technology, such as quantum cryptography and quantum computing, require new devices that generate and detect light at the quantum level. Toshiba have developed a generic nanotechnology for single photon generation and detection using semiconductor quantum dots. These devices will be incorporated into the next generation of Toshiba's quantum cryptography system, offering improved performance and security.
Quantum dots are tiny volumes of a semiconductor that can trap electrons. Thanks to their nanometer dimensions, they are able to hold just a few electrons making them ideally suited for detecting and generating single photons.