Photonic Chip Breakthrough Opens a Path Toward Quantum Computing in Real-World Conditions
(SciTechDaily) A research team led by Xu Yi, assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering at the University of Virginia School of Engineering and Applied Science, has carved a niche in the physics and applications of photonic devices, which detect and shape light for a wide range of uses including communications and computing. His research group has created a scalable quantum computing platform, which drastically reduces the number of devices needed to achieve quantum speed, on a photonic chip the size of a penny.
Yi’s photonics-based approach is attractive because a field of light is also full spectrum; each light wave in the spectrum has the potential to become a quantum unit. Yi hypothesized that by entangling fields of light, the light would achieve a quantum state.
Yi’s group created a quantum source in an optical microresonator, a ring-shaped, millimeter-sized structure that envelopes the photons and generates a microcomb, a device that efficiently converts photons from single to multiple wavelengths. Light circulates around the ring to build up optical power. This power buildup enhances chances for photons to interact, which produces quantum entanglement between fields of light in the microcomb.Through multiplexing, Yi’s team verified the generation of 40 qumodes from a single microresonator on a chip, proving that multiplexing of quantum modes can work in integrated photonic platforms. This is just the number they are able to measure.
Olivier Pfister, professor of quantum optics and quantum information at UVA, and Hansuek Lee, assistant professor at the Korean Advanced Institute of Science and Technology, contributed to this success.
Nature Communications recently published the team’s experimental results, “A Squeezed Quantum Microcomb on a Chip.” Two of Yi’s group members, Zijiao Yang, a Ph.D. student in physics, and Mandana Jahanbozorgi, a Ph.D. student of electrical and computer engineering, are the paper’s co-first authors. A grant from the National Science Foundation’s Engineering Quantum Integrated Platforms for Quantum Communication program supports this research.