While some are focused on threats to IT security posed by coming quantum computers, the National Science Foundation is putting $12 million into developing quantum technologies designed to protect data traversing fiber-optic networks.
The NSF will support six interdisciplinary teams consisting of 26 researchers at 15 institutions to perform fundamental research under the Advancing Communication Quantum Information Research in Engineering (ACQUIRE) area within the NSF Directorate for Engineering's Emerging Frontiers in Research and Innovation (EFRI) program.
The ACQUIRE researchers' aim over the next four years: engineer a quantum communication system on a chip that can operate at room temperature. Bulky gear and low temperatures are required in current systems.
"A growing interest in quantum photonics and a new understanding of quantum physics and nanomaterials make this the perfect time to pursue significant engineering advances in quantum communication," said Dominique Dagenais, the NSF program director who coordinated the ACQUIRE projects, in a statement.
These researchers will lead the EFRI quantum communication systems teams:
- Dirk Englund, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Scalable quantum communications with error-corrected semiconductor qubits.
- Kai-Mei Fu, University of Washington, An integrated quantum communication transmission node.
- Alexander Gaeta, Columbia University, Development of heterogenous platform for chip-based quantum information applications.
- Qiang Lin, University of Rochester, A scalable integrated quantum photonic interconnect.
- Shayan Mookherjea, the University of California-San Diego, Microchip photonic devices for quantum communication over fiber.
- Hong Tang, Yale University, Integrated nanophotonic solid state memories for telecom wavelength quantum repeaters.