The team headed by Dr Jens Noth and Prof Dr Thomas Happe at the Ruhr-Universität Bochum report the results in the journal “Angewandte Chemie”. The researchers intend to lay the foundation for artificial, hydrogen-producing enzymes that will one day be manufactured on an industrial level. Hydrogenases are very efficient producers of the potential energy carrier and can do without the expensive precious metal platinum which is currently required for hydrogen synthesis.
Ruhr University Bochum (German Ruhr-Universität Bochum, RUB), located on the southern hills of central Ruhr area Bochum, was founded in 1962 as the first new public university in Germany since World War II.
Instruction began in 1965.
The Ruhr-University Bochum is one of the largest universities in Germany and part of the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft, the most important German research funding organization.
The RUB has been very successful in the Excellence Initiative by the German Federal and State Governments (2007), a competition among Germany’s most prestigious universities. It was one of the few institutions left competing for the title of an “elite university”, but did not succeed in the last round of the competition. There are currently nine universities in Germany that hold this title.
The University of Bochum was one of the first universities in Germany to introduce international Bachelor and Master degrees, which replaced the traditional German Diplom and Magister. Except for a few special cases (for example in Law) this process has been completed and all degrees been converted. Today, the university offers a total of 150 different study programs from all fields.
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With the help of a semiconductor quantum dot, physicists at the University of Basel have developed a new type of light source that emits single photons. For the first time, the researchers have managed to create a stream of identical photons.
They have reported their findings in the scientific journal Nature Communications together with colleagues from the University of Bochum.
A single-photon source never emits two or more photons at the same time. Single photons are important in the field of quantum information technology where, for example, they are used in quantum computers. Alongside the brightness and robustness of the light source, the indistinguishability of the photons is especially crucial. In particular, this means that all photons must be the same color. Creating such a source of identical single photons has proven very difficult in the past.
However, quantum dots made of semiconductor materials are offering new hope. A quantum dot is a collection of a few hundred thousand atoms that can form itself into a semiconductor under certain conditions. Single electrons can be captured in these quantum dots and locked into a very small area. An individual photon is emitted when an engineered quantum state collapses.
Noise in the semiconductor
A team of scientists led by Dr. Andreas Kuhlmann and Prof. Richard J. Warburton from the University of Basel have already shown in past publications that the indistinguishability of the photons is reduced by the fluctuating nuclear spin of the quantum dot atoms. For the first time ever, the scientists have managed to control the nuclear spin to such an extent that even photons sent out at very large intervals are the same color.
Quantum cryptography and quantum communication are two potential areas of application for single-photon sources. These technologies could make it possible to perform calculations that are far beyond the capabilities of today’s computers.