Review abstract

Nature Photonics 3, 687 - 695 (2009)

Photonic quantum technologies

Jeremy L. O'Brien1, Akira Furusawa2 & Jelena Vuc caronkovic acute3

The first quantum technology that harnesses quantum mechanical effects for its core operation has arrived in the form of commercially available quantum key distribution systems. This technology achieves enhanced security by encoding information in photons such that an eavesdropper in the system can be detected. Anticipated future quantum technologies include large-scale secure networks, enhanced measurement and lithography, and quantum information processors, which promise exponentially greater computational power for particular tasks. Photonics is destined to have a central role in such technologies owing to the high-speed transmission and outstanding low-noise properties of photons. These technologies may use single photons, quantum states of bright laser beams or both, and will undoubtedly apply and drive state-of-the-art developments in photonics.

  1. Centre for Quantum Photonics, H. H. Wills Physics Laboratory and the Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, University of Bristol, Merchant Venturers Building, Woodland Road, Bristol BS8 1UB, UK.
  2. Department of Applied Physics and Quantum Phase Electronics Center, School of Engineering, The University of Tokyo, 7-3-1 Hongo, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 113-8656, Japan.
  3. Department of Electrical Engineering and Ginzton Laboratory, Stanford University, Stanford 94305, California, USA.

Correspondence to: Jeremy L. O'Brien1 e-mail:


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