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  • Photons on Demand
Mar 2008
MELBOURNE, Australia, March 18, 2008 -- A device uses the unique properties of diamonds to produce single photons on demand at room temperature. Quantum Communications Victoria (QCV), part of the University of Melbourne's physics department, has developed the single-photon source, which can be accessed with a standard optical fiber connection.

QCV CEO Shane Huntington said, “The availability of a commercial single-photon source will enable many viable quantum technologies to reach the marketplace.”

He said it has the potential to be used as a component in secure telecommunications systems, for quantum metrology and other quantum-based applications. Initially, it will be integrated into existing commercial quantum cryptosystems to improve their performance and provide "100-percent secure telecommunications," Huntington said. The company is also investigating applications such as microscopy and optical sensing.

QCV said it is considering partners and investors to participate in a startup to commercialize the single-photon source in various markets. The Melbourne-based development team is collaborating with Magiq Pty. Ltd., a Boston supplier of quantum encryption equipment, to integrate the source into quantum key distribution systems.

QCV is supported by a state infrastructure grant in Victoria.

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The technology of generating and harnessing light and other forms of radiant energy whose quantum unit is the photon. The science includes light emission, transmission, deflection, amplification and detection by optical components and instruments, lasers and other light sources, fiber optics, electro-optical instrumentation, related hardware and electronics, and sophisticated systems. The range of applications of photonics extends from energy generation to detection to communications and...
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