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Single-photon emitters operating at room temperature could be used in on-chip quantum communication applications, and as a source of “flying” qubits for quantum computing. Quantum dots (QDs) made from the III-nitride materials could be perfect in such devices thanks to their unique properties that include the fact that they are highly stable (both chemically and at high temperatures) and have a large breakdown voltage, and because they can emit photons over a wide range of light wavelengths from the ultraviolet to the infrared parts of the electromagnetic spectrum.

The problem is that, until now, no-one had ever seen single-photon emission from these materials at room temperature because sample quality was poor. “And although researchers have observed room-temperature single-photon emission from other nanostructures, such as the colour centres in diamond, this is the first time that they have been seen emanating from a structure that has been fabricated at a pre-defined location,” team member Mark Holmes told nanotechweb.org. “Indeed, previous studies relied on structures that had formed at random locations on a substrate.

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