Apr 10, 2023

High-Power, Room-Temperature, Coherent Microwave Source

Posted by in categories: computing, particle physics, quantum physics

Magnetic spin excitations can combine with photons to produce exotic particles that emit laser-like microwaves.

One of the challenges for building systems for quantum computing and communications has been the lack of laser-like microwave sources that produce sufficient power but don’t require extreme cooling. Now a research team has demonstrated a new room-temperature technique for making coherent microwave radiation—the kind that comes from a laser [1]. The device exploits the interaction of a magnetic material with electromagnetic fields. The researchers expect that the work will lead to microwave sources that can be built into chips employed in future quantum devices.

The devices that store quantum bits for quantum computers often require microwave signals to input and retrieve data, so lasers operating at microwave frequencies (masers)—and other sources of coherent microwaves—could be very useful. But even though masers were invented before lasers, most maser technologies work only at ultracold temperatures. A 2018 design works at room temperature but doesn’t produce very much power [2].

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