Quantum memories: emerging applications and recent advances

Khabat Heshami, Duncan G. England, Peter C. Humphreys, Philip J. Bustard, Victor M. Acosta, Joshua Nunn, Benjamin J. Sussman

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

296 Citations (SciVal)


Quantum light–matter interfaces are at the heart of photonic quantum technologies. Quantum memories for photons, where non-classical states of photons are mapped onto stationary matter states and preserved for subsequent retrieval, are technical realizations enabled by exquisite control over interactions between light and matter. The ability of quantum memories to synchronize probabilistic events makes them a key component in quantum repeaters and quantum computation based on linear optics. This critical feature has motivated many groups to dedicate theoretical and experimental research to develop quantum memory devices. In recent years, exciting new applications, and more advanced developments of quantum memories, have proliferated. In this review, we outline some of the emerging applications of quantum memories in optical signal processing, quantum computation and non-linear optics. We review recent experimental and theoretical developments, and their impacts on more advanced photonic quantum technologies based on quantum memories.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2005-2028
Number of pages24
JournalJournal of Modern Optics
Issue number20
Early online date16 Mar 2016
Publication statusPublished - 12 Nov 2016


  • light-matter interfaces
  • optical quantum information processing
  • Quantum memories

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics


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