If at present quantum computers are still “science fiction”, can microscopic sized diamonds provide practical quantum data encryption for sensitive internet data right now using currently available technology?
By: Ringo Bones
The promise of ultra fast quantum computers and the benefit of ultra secure quantum encryption of sensitive computer data may be a few years away but materials scientists say they may be a way to provide quantum level encryption of computer data uploaded by users on the internet using current practical technology via the use of microscopic sized diamonds. But will such methods work?
Recent advancements in the relatively cost competitive manufacture of gem quality microdiamonds by the thimbleful may be a way to provide current practical way to provide single photon key encryption of private messages and other sensitive data being sent on the internet or being saved on some “cloud computing site”. Diamonds possessing the desired optical properties that can process data stream a single photon at a time is the key for a practical single photon encryption / decryption method that is compatible with our current internet telecommunications infrastructure.
Using microdiamonds with a “perfect imperfection” –i.e. getting single impurity inside a microdiamond using existing laser deposition technology to provide that microdiamond the desired optical property to enable single photon key processing. This method could provide quantum level data cryptography using existing computer technology. Though still at the lab stage, microdiamonds with the requisite optical properties to perform single key encryption and decryption could easily be mounted on chips using existing chip manufacturing methods.
Another advantage of such a scheme is that it could also perform the function of a true blue quantum computer’s ability to check and detect if encrypted data are already compromised by unauthorized hacking. If funding permits, microdiamond chips - or a microdiamond array on a chip - that enable current computers to perform quantum level encryption / decryption of sensitive data could probably be on the market as soon as five years from now – while costing the same or just a little bit more than ones already on the market today.