Volume 13 Issue 5, May 2019

Volume 13 Issue 5

Efficient quantum memory

A quantum memory with an efficiency exceeding 85% has been achieved. In the approach, a ‘flying qubit’ encoded in the polarization of a single photon is efficiently stored in and retrieved from a cloud of laser-cooled rubidium atoms. This efficient quantum memory shows potential applications in quantum communication and quantum computation.

See Zhu et al.

Image: Y. Wang, S. Zhang, H. Yan, SCNU; S. L. Zhu, NJU. Cover Design: Bethany Vukomanovic.


  • Editorial |

    Nature Photonics pays tribute to the pioneering scientists that helped define the field of photonics in the latter part of the twentieth century with the launch of an online collection of profiles.



  • Comment |

    The 2005 Nobel laureate, Roy Jay Glauber, sadly passed away on 26 December 2018 at the age of 93. He was highly regarded for his work on the quantum theory of coherence, as well as for his contributions to nuclear physics, scattering theory and statistical mechanics.

    • Fritz Haake
    •  & Maciej Lewenstein


Books & Arts

Research Highlights

News & Views

  • News & Views |

    The injection of rare-earth-doped upconversion nanoparticles into the eyes of mice allows them to visualize near-infrared light with a wavelength of ~1 μm.

    • Guochen Bao
    •  & Dayong Jin
  • News & Views |

    High-amplitude optical phase modulation has been challenging to achieve in nanophotonic integrated structures. Coherently combining multiple optomechanical modulators on a nanophotonic chip offers an approach to address this challenge.

    • Michał Karpiński
  • News & Views |

    Synthetic gauge fields that enable controllable confinement and guiding via bound states in the continuum are demonstrated, offering new ways to confine and manipulate localization of radiation in space and opportunities to new applications of artificial gauge fields in photonics.

    • Alexander B. Khanikaev
  • News & Views |

    The race of distributing provable-secure encryption keys by means of quantum key distribution over ever-increasing distances is on. A surprising development has now led to a new result that may affect how we build future quantum networks.

    • Wolfgang Tittel



  • Letter |

    A nearly Fourier-limited X-ray free-electron laser beam is generated by a self-seeding scheme. The beam in the first half of the undulators is monochromatized via Bragg reflection, and is subsequently amplified in the remaining undulators.

    • Ichiro Inoue
    • , Taito Osaka
    • , Toru Hara
    • , Takashi Tanaka
    • , Takahiro Inagaki
    • , Toru Fukui
    • , Shunji Goto
    • , Yuichi Inubushi
    • , Hiroaki Kimura
    • , Ryota Kinjo
    • , Haruhiko Ohashi
    • , Kazuaki Togawa
    • , Kensuke Tono
    • , Mitsuhiro Yamaga
    • , Hitoshi Tanaka
    • , Tetsuya Ishikawa
    •  & Makina Yabashi
  • Letter |

    Nanometre thick metal films enable electrical tuning of plasmons.

    • Rinu Abraham Maniyara
    • , Daniel Rodrigo
    • , Renwen Yu
    • , Josep Canet-Ferrer
    • , Dhriti Sundar Ghosh
    • , Ruchirej Yongsunthon
    • , David E. Baker
    • , Aram Rezikyan
    • , F. Javier García de Abajo
    •  & Valerio Pruneri


  • Article |

    A proof-of-principle experiment on twin-field quantum key distribution is demonstrated. The key rate overcomes the repeaterless secret key capacity bound limit at channel losses of 85 dB, corresponding to 530 km of ultralow-loss optical fibre.

    • M. Minder
    • , M. Pittaluga
    • , G. L. Roberts
    • , M. Lucamarini
    • , J. F. Dynes
    • , Z. L. Yuan
    •  & A. J. Shields
  • Article |

    Optical guiding by a synthetic gauge field is experimentally demonstrated through an array of evanescently coupled identical waveguides, opening the door to applications of artificial gauge fields in optical, microwave and acoustic systems and in cold atoms.

    • Yaakov Lumer
    • , Miguel A. Bandres
    • , Matthias Heinrich
    • , Lukas J. Maczewsky
    • , Hanan Herzig-Sheinfux
    • , Alexander Szameit
    •  & Mordechai Segev
  • Article |

    A quantum memory for single-photon polarization qubits with an efficiency of >85% and a fidelity of >99% is demonstrated. It is achieved by suppressing the noise and by controlling the spectral–temporal states of single photons in laser-cooled Rb atoms.

    • Yunfei Wang
    • , Jianfeng Li
    • , Shanchao Zhang
    • , Keyu Su
    • , Yiru Zhou
    • , Kaiyu Liao
    • , Shengwang Du
    • , Hui Yan
    •  & Shi-Liang Zhu
  • Article |

    Transverse localization of transmission eigenchannels is discovered in random optical media even in the diffusive regime of propagation far from Anderson localization. These findings will have significant impact on imaging and the control of light–matter interactions in scattering systems.

    • Hasan Yılmaz
    • , Chia Wei Hsu
    • , Alexey Yamilov
    •  & Hui Cao