(Phys.org) A team of physicists at the University of Bristol has developed the first integrated photon source with the potential to deliver large-scale quantum photonics.
Integrated quantum photonics is a promising platform for developing quantum technologies due to its capacity to generate and control photons—single particles of light—in miniaturized complex optical circuits. Leveraging the mature CMOS Silicon industry for the fabrication of integrated devices enables circuits with the equivalent of thousands of optical fibres and components to be integrated on a single millimetre-scale chip.
“An important challenge that has limited the scaling of integrated quantum photonics has been the lack of on-chip sources able to generate high-quality single photons. . .. n this work we found a way to resolve this and in doing so we developed the first integrated photon source compatible with large-scale quantum photonics. To achieve high-quality photons, we developed a novel technique—”inter-modal spontaneous four-wave mixing”.
Importantly, the Silicon photonic device was fabricated via CMOS-compatible processes in a commercial foundry, which means thousands of sources can easily be integrated on a single device. The research, funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) Hub in Quantum Computing and Simulation and the European Research Council (ERC), represents a major step toward building quantum circuits at scale and paves the way for several applications.