Researchers at Purdue University are working on combining plasmonic and nanophotonic technologies for use in quantum computers. The goal is to create an efficient means of creating single photons. A single photon can be used as a qubit, the unit of data for a quantum computer similar to an electronic bit. Unlike a bit, which is either 0 or 1, a qubit can be both 0 and 1, at the same time. Quantum computers would only want a single photon or qubit, for switching and routing. Plasmonics, which deal with plasmons, a virtual particle consisting of an electron and photon, and metamaterials should, together, be able to offer the needed control and efficiency. There are multiple approaches to this though, and the researchers will working to see which is best.