Quantum information processing (QIP) promises to radically change the outlook for secure communications, both by breaking existing cryptographic protocols and offering new quantum protocols in their place. A promising technology for QIP uses arrays of atomic ions that are trapped in ultrahigh vacuum and manipulated by lasers. Over the last several years, work in my research group has led to the demonstration of a monolithically integrated, scalable optical interconnect for trapped-ion QIP. Our interconnect collects single photons from trapped ions using a diffractive mirror array, which is fabricated directly on a chip-type ion trap using a CMOS-compatible process. Based on this interconnect, we have proposed an architecture that couples trapped ion arrays with photonic integrated circuits to achieve compatibility with current telecom networks. Such tightly integrated, highly parallel systems open the prospect of long-distance quantum cryptography.
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