Millennium Nucleus Center Advanced Optics
Impact Area: Materials for new technologies
Speciality: Materials for new technologies
Light plays a central role in our civilization: from its use in art, like painting and photography, to the knowledge of the universe that we have achieved thanks to it. Light has, however, manifestations and properties that are less obvious, but of great impact on our daily lives. Our Nucleus Center studies precisely these characteristics of light. In particular, we are interested in the quantum properties of light, those made noticeable when we have small amounts of light, for example, a single photon, and its interaction with matter, or when light travels within photonic chips. We design methods to store, process and transmit a large amount of information in a single photon.
The applications of our studies, that integrate quantum properties and systems of nonlinear optics, are varied. Since we have learned to control key properties of light, including its degree of entanglement, we perform experimental demonstrations of the most fundamental predictions of quantum mechanics. We demonstrate experimentally quantum cryptographic protocols, a technique that allows the codification of information in light and transmission thereof so that it is impossible for unauthorized users to access it. We also use systems of non-linear optics to generate light switches and propagate light without loss or distortion. We refer to these applications as quantum technologies.
The scientific results of our investigations are published in Nature Communications, Scientific Reports and Physical Review Letters.