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On-Chip Quantum Light Source Brings Scalability to Quantum Cloud

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Researchers from Leibniz University Hannover, the University of Twente, and photonic quantum computing company QuiX Quantum have presented an entangled quantum light source fully integrated on a chip. According to team member Michael Kues, who is head of the Institute of Photonics and a board member of the Cluster of Excellence PhoenixD at Leibniz University Hannover, the breakthrough enabled the researchers to shrink the source size by a factor of more than 1000.

Among other benefits  that include reproducibility, stability, and scaling,  the achievement supports the potential for mass-production, Kues said.
Artistic illustration of the chip-integrated quantum light source for the generation of entangled photons. Credit: Raktim Haldar/Michael Kues
Illustration of the chip-integrated quantum light source for the generation of entangled photons. Courtesy of Raktim Haldar and Michael Kues.

Quantum light sources have, until now, required external off-chip, bulky laser systems, which has limited their use in the field. Previously, said Raktim Haldar, a Humboldt fellow in Kues’ group, it was a major challenge to integrate a laser, filter, and cavity on the same chip due to the lack of a material that was efficient to use to build these different components.

The hybrid technology comprises an indium phosphide laser, a filter, and a cavity made of silicon nitride. On the chip, in a spontaneous nonlinear process, two photons are created from a laser field. Each photon spans a range of colors simultaneously, called “superposition,” and the colors of both photons are correlated; that is, the photons are entangled and can store quantum information.

The whole quantum light source fits on a chip smaller than a one-euro coin. The researchers reduced the size of the light source by a factor of more than 1,000 by using a novel "hybrid technology" that combines a laser made of indium phosphide and a filter made of silicon nitride on a single chip. The new light source is efficient and stable and can find applications to drive quantum computers or the quantum internet. Courtesy of the Institute of Photonics/Leibniz University of Hannover.


The whole quantum light source fits on a chip smaller than a euro coin. The researchers reduced the size of the light source by a factor of more than 1000 by using a novel, hybrid architecture that combines a laser made from indium phosphide and a filter made of silicon nitride on a single chip. The light source is efficient and stable and can find applications to drive quantum computers or the quantum internet. Courtesy of the Institute of Photonics/Leibniz University of Hannover.

According to Haldar, unlike Google, for example, which he said currently uses supercold qubits in cryogenic systems, a quantum advantage could be achieved via the recent work, with a photonic system on a chip even at room temperature.

The researchers expect that the work will help to lower the production costs of applications.

“We can imagine that our quantum light source will soon be a fundamental component of programmable photonic quantum processors,” Kues said.

The research was published in Nature Photonics (www.doi.org/10.1038/s41566-023-01193-1).



Published: April 2023
Glossary
chip
1. A localized fracture at the end of a cleaved optical fiber or on a glass surface. 2. An integrated circuit.
quantum
The term quantum refers to the fundamental unit or discrete amount of a physical quantity involved in interactions at the atomic and subatomic scales. It originates from quantum theory, a branch of physics that emerged in the early 20th century to explain phenomena observed on very small scales, where classical physics fails to provide accurate explanations. In the context of quantum theory, several key concepts are associated with the term quantum: Quantum mechanics: This is the branch of...
light source
The generic term applied to all sources of visible radiation from burning matter to ionized vapors and lasers, regardless of the degree of excitation.
indium phosphide
Indium phosphide (InP) is a compound semiconductor material composed of indium (In) and phosphorus (P). It belongs to the III-V group of semiconductors, where elements from groups III and V of the periodic table combine to form a variety of important semiconductor materials. Indium phosphide is known for its favorable electronic and optical properties, making it widely used in the fabrication of optoelectronic devices. Key features and properties of indium phosphide include: Bandgap:...
Research & TechnologyOpticsLasersphotonschipquantumlight sourcehybridMaterialssilicon nitrideindium phosphideLeibniz University of HannoverUniversity of TwenteQuiX QuantumNature PhotonicsCluster of Excellence PhoenixDPhoenixDInstitute of PhotonicsEuropeTechnology News

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