Published On: Fri, Mar 9th, 2018

Silicon quantum photonic technology in scale

Scaling silicon quantum photonic technology

An international team of scientists and quantum engineers led by the University of Bristol and involving groups from China, Denmark, Spain, Germany and Poland, has built a large-scale, advanced quantum photonic device able to entangle photons to incredible levels precision.

While standard quantum hardware traps particles in two states, the team has found a way to generate and trap pairs of particles each with 15 states.

The integrated photonic chip sets a new standard for the complexity and precision of quantum photonics, with immediate applications for quantum technologies.

Integrated quantum photonics allows for the routing and control of individual light particles with inherently high stability and precision, but to date has been limited to small-scale demonstrations in which only a small number of components are integrated on a chip.

Scaling these quantum circuits is of fundamental importance to increase the computational complexity and power of modern quantum information processing technologies, opening up the possibility of many revolutionary applications.

The team, led by scientists from Quantum Engineering Technology Laboratories of the University of Bristol (QET Labs), demonstrated the first large-scale integrated quantum photonic circuit that, by integrating hundreds of essential components, can generate, control and analyze high-dimensional entanglement with an unprecedented level of precision.

The quantum chip was built using a scalable silicon photonic technology, similar to today’s electronic circuits, which would provide a path to produce massive components for the realization of an optical quantum computer.

The work, in collaboration with the Peking University, the Technical University of Denmark (DTU), the Institut de Ciencies Fotoniques (ICFO), the Max Planck Institute, the Center for Theoretical Physics of the Polish Academy of Sciences and The University of Copenhagen was published today in the journal Science.

The consistent and precise control of large quantum devices and complex multidimensional entanglement systems has been a challenging task due to the complex interactions of related particles in large quantum systems. Significant advances towards large-scale quantum devices have recently been reported in a variety of platforms including photons, superconductors, ions, points and defects.

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In particular, photonics represents a promising approach to naturally encode and process multidimensional states of qudit in the different degrees of freedom of the photon.

In this work, a multidimensional coded entangled system is demonstrated with a programmable path with dimensions up to 15 × 15, in which two photons exist over 15 optical paths simultaneously and are entangled with each other.

This multidimensional interweaving is realized by exploiting silicon-photonic quantum circuits, integrating in a single chip, 550 optical components, including 16 sources of identical photonic pairs, 93 optical phase-shifters, 122 beam-splitters.

The lead author, Dr. Jianwei Wang, said: “It is the maturity of today’s silicon-photonics that allows us to increase the technology and achieve a large-scale integration of quantum circuits.

“This is the best thing about silicon quantum photonics: our quantum chip allows us to reach unprecedented levels of precision and control of multidimensional entanglement, a key factor in many quantum information and communication activities.”

Senior researcher, correspondent author Yunhong Ding of DTU, Center for Silicon Photonics for Optical Communication (SPOC), added: “New technologies always allow new applications.

“The capabilities of our integrated DTU silicon photonics technologies enable highly stable quantum information processing chips, enabling us to observe high-quality multidimensional quantum correlations including generalized Bell and EPR management violations and also implement multidimensional quantum protocols experimentally unexplored: expansion of multidimensional randomness and state self-testing. ”

Dr. Anthony Laing, a prominent academic in Bristol’s QETLabs and corresponding author, said: “Entanglement is a fascinating feature of quantum mechanics and not yet fully understood. This device and future generations of complexity chips and growing sophistication will allow us to explore this realm of quantum science and make new discoveries. ”

Professor Mark Thompson, Bristol team leader, added: “We used the same production tools and techniques that are exploited in today’s microelectronics industry to realize our quantum silicon photonic microchip, unlike conventional electronic circuits that use the classical behavior of electrons Our circuits exploit the quantum properties of the single light particle: this approach to silicon photonics for quantum technologies provides a clear path to scale up to many millions of components that are ultimately needed for computing applications large-scale quantum. ”



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