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Precisely designed 2D surfaces called metasurfaces comprise nanoscale arrays of antenna-like structures that scatter light in ways not seen in nature. Metasurfaces have recently been adapted to the quantum realm, with atomic-scale designs that can manipulate individual photons. Now, adding a new dimension to these quantum metasurfaces, Wilton Kort-Kamp and colleagues at Los Alamos National Laboratory, New Mexico, propose a compact photonic platform that continuously alters its light-scattering properties in both space and time. The “space-time quantum metasurface” allows real-time control over coherent light-matter interactions and could enable high-dimensional information encoding and high-capacity communications systems.

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