High-Performance Semiconductor Laser Sources for Quantum Information Science

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Quantum 2.0 and the Next Revolution in Sensing, Communications and Computing

quantum information science

Quantum Information Science (QIS) is rooted in the scientific field of quantum mechanics, whose origins can be traced to the beginning of the 20th century. The technologies that emerged from this field yielded commercial products such as the transistor, the laser, and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), just to name a few. These products resulted from the first quantum revolution, now commonly referred to as “Quantum 1.0.”  

Now, in the beginning of the 21st Century, scientists have learned to expand on the effects of quantum mechanics to exploit and actively control quantum properties at the atomic level enabling entanglement and superposition that lead to new measurement modalities. This second revolution is being referred to as “Quantum 2.0.” 

The promise of enhanced capabilities that are enabled by these quantum properties is extremely exciting. It is expected that the application of Quantum 2.0 can be realized in three principal areas: Sensing & Timing, Communications, and Computing.

Sensing & Timing

Sensors that leverage quantum effects take advantage of the fact that certain quantum states are highly susceptible to changes in their environment. This in turn provides much higher sensitivity and precision compared to conventional sensor modalities. Applications include atomic clocks, RF and magnetic field sensing, atom interferometers (including gravimeters/accelerometers/gyroscopes), atomic magnetometers and electric field sensors, and quantum-enhanced imaging.


Quantum technologies such as entanglement can be applied to next-generation secure quantum communication networks. Several applications are currently under commercial development, including quantum key distribution (QKD), quantum networking, and quantum memories.


Quantum computers that are based on properties of superposition and entanglement are being developed to solve certain types of computing problems with potential exponential speedup over classical computer capability. Currently targeted quantum computational applications include quantum chemistry and materials discovery, algorithms for factory and resource optimization, machine learning & artificial intelligence, and eventually potentially factoring large numbers.

Selecting the Right Laser Source for Quantum Information Science

To meet the demands of industry adoption, components and sources for future quantum technology need to move beyond the laboratory environment and into robust, deployable packages, usable in a broad range of environments and capable of meeting significant performance demands.

The lasers and electro-optical subsystems capable of enabling these quantum technologies must deliver a high quality of light including stabilized laser frequency, optical power, and polarization, all with a high fidelity of control in an uncontrolled environment. Packaging aspects including photonic integrated circuits and fiber-coupled operation enable tight integration with the sensor and supporting electro-optical subsystems.

These requirements pose sizable, cross-industry challenges: as a result, the quantum R&D community is seeking partnerships with suppliers to develop the technology to meet market requirements for fieldable products.

Your Partner in Commercial Development

DRS Daylight Solutions is a leading expert in deploying high-precision, laser-based technologies into commercial applications. These range from laser-based detectors accelerating drug discovery for the biological and pharmaceutical industries to high-power sources that enhance aircraft survivability. Daylight has a broad range of laser diode and quantum cascade laser (QCL) technologies covering near- to mid-infrared.

Our talented team of physicists, engineers, and product managers are passionate about technology with a proven track record of delivering durable, real-world solutions. Please reach out to our application experts to share your needs and discover how Daylight can support your technology development.


1 OSA.org – OIDA Quantum Photonics Roadmap

2 Quantum.gov – National Strategic Overview for Quantum Information Science

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