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Researchers at the University of Basel and Ruhr University Bochum have developed a source of single photons that can produce billions of these quantum particles per second. With its record-breaking efficiency, the photon source represents a new and powerful building-block for quantum technologies.

Quantum cryptography promises absolutely secure communications. A key component here are strings of . Information can be stored in the quantum states of these light particles and transmitted over long distances. In the future, remote quantum processors will communicate with each other via single photons. And perhaps the processor itself will use photons as quantum bits for computing.

A basic prerequisite for such applications, however, is an efficient source of single photons. A research team led by Professor Richard Warburton, Natasha Tomm and Dr. Alisa Javadi from the University of Basel, together with colleagues from Bochum, now reports in the journal Nature Nanotechnology on the development of a single-photon source that significantly surpasses previously known systems in terms of efficiency.

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