Quantum computing and quantum networking make use of the same unexplained phenomenon in quantum physics: the entanglement between particles that enables them to share states in what seems like a violation of relativity theory. But they serve different purposes: quantum computing aims to solve problems, while quantum networking aims to secure connections between digital devices. Quantum computers will eventually be networked over global quantum telecommunication fibre optics, but researchers do not yet agree on what interface could make this happen.
As a result, the race is on to prototype an ideal interface between long-lived, material-based qubits (suitable for quantum computing) and telecommunications-band photons (suitable for quantum networking). Qubits are the basic unit of quantum information. As Canada Research Chair in Silicon Quantum Technologies, Dr. Stephanie Simmons is deploying silicon matter-telecom photon interfaces into real quantum devices to prove that they can underpin the quantum computation and communication technologies of the future. Ultimately, she and her research team hope to contribute to a common quantum hardware-dominant design.