Abstract

The on-chip generation of large and complex optical quantum states will enable low-cost and accessible advances for quantum technologies, such as secure communications and quantum computation. Integrated frequency combs are on-chip light sources with a broad spectrum of evenly-spaced frequency modes, commonly generated by four-wave mixing in optically-excited nonlinear micro-cavities, whose recent use for quantum state generation has provided a solution for scalable and multi-mode quantum light sources. Pulsed quantum frequency combs are of particular interest, since they allow the generation of single-frequency-mode photons, required for scaling state complexity towards, e.g., multi-photon states, and for quantum information applications. However, generation schemes for such pulsed combs have, to date, relied on micro-cavity excitation via lasers external to the sources, being neither versatile nor power-efficient, and impractical for scalable realizations of quantum technologies. Here, we introduce an actively-modulated, nested-cavity configuration that exploits the resonance pass-band characteristic of the micro-cavity to enable a mode-locked and energy-efficient excitation. We demonstrate that the scheme allows the generation of high-purity photons at large coincidence-to-accidental ratios (CAR). Furthermore, by increasing the repetition rate of the excitation field via harmonic mode-locking (i.e. driving the cavity modulation at harmonics of the fundamental repetition rate), we managed to increase the pair production rates (i.e. source efficiency), while maintaining a high CAR and photon purity. Our approach represents a significant step towards the realization of fully on-chip, stable, and versatile sources of pulsed quantum frequency combs, crucial for the development of accessible quantum technologies.

© 2017 Optical Society of America

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References

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2017 (4)

L. Caspani, C. Xiong, B. J. Eggleton, D. Bajoni, M. Liscidini, M. Galli, R. Morandotti, and D. J. Moss, “Integrated sources of photon quantum states based on nonlinear optics,” Light Sci. Appl. 6, e17100 (2017).

M. Kues, C. Reimer, P. Roztocki, L. R. Cortés, S. Sciara, B. Wetzel, Y. Zhang, A. Cino, S. T. Chu, B. E. Little, D. J. Moss, L. Caspani, J. Azaña, and R. Morandotti, “On-chip generation of high-dimensional entangled quantum states and their coherent control,” Nature 546(7660), 622–626 (2017).
[Crossref] [PubMed]

M. Kues, C. Reimer, B. Wetzel, P. Roztocki, B. E. Little, S. T. Chu, T. Hansson, E. A. Viktorov, D. J. Moss, and R. Morandotti, “Passively mode-locked laser with an ultra-narrow spectral width,” Nat. Photonics 11(3), 159–162 (2017).
[Crossref]

X. Guo, C. L. Zou, C. Schuck, H. Jung, R. Cheng, and H. X. Tang, “Parametric down-conversion photon-pair source on a nanophotonic chip,” Light Sci. Appl. 6(5), e16249 (2017).
[Crossref]

2016 (3)

C. Reimer, M. Kues, P. Roztocki, B. Wetzel, F. Grazioso, B. E. Little, S. T. Chu, T. Johnston, Y. Bromberg, L. Caspani, D. J. Moss, and R. Morandotti, “Generation of multiphoton entangled quantum states by means of integrated frequency combs,” Science 351(6278), 1176–1180 (2016).
[Crossref] [PubMed]

L. Caspani, C. Reimer, M. Kues, P. Roztocki, M. Clerici, B. Wetzel, Y. Jestin, M. Ferrera, M. Peccianti, A. Pasquazi, L. Razzari, B. E. Little, S. T. Chu, D. J. Moss, and R. Morandotti, “Multifrequency sources of quantum correlated photon pairs on-chip: a path toward integrated quantum frequency combs,” Nanophotonics 5(2), 351–362 (2016).
[Crossref]

F. Mazeas, M. Traetta, M. Bentivegna, F. Kaiser, D. Aktas, W. Zhang, C. A. Ramos, L. A. Ngah, T. Lunghi, É. Picholle, N. Belabas-Plougonven, X. Le Roux, É. Cassan, D. Marris-Morini, L. Vivien, G. Sauder, L. Labonté, and S. Tanzilli, “High-quality photonic entanglement for wavelength-multiplexed quantum communication based on a silicon chip,” Opt. Express 24(25), 28731 (2016).
[Crossref] [PubMed]

2015 (3)

D. Grassani, S. Azzini, M. Liscidini, M. Galli, M. J. Strain, M. Sorel, J. E. Sipe, and D. Bajoni, “Micrometer-scale integrated silicon source of time-energy entangled photons,” Optica 2(2), 88 (2015).
[Crossref]

W. C. Jiang, X. Lu, J. Zhang, O. Painter, and Q. Lin, “Silicon-chip source of bright photon pairs,” Opt. Express 23(16), 20884–20904 (2015).
[Crossref] [PubMed]

C. Reimer, M. Kues, L. Caspani, B. Wetzel, P. Roztocki, M. Clerici, Y. Jestin, M. Ferrera, M. Peccianti, A. Pasquazi, B. E. Little, S. T. Chu, D. J. Moss, and R. Morandotti, “Cross-polarized photon-pair generation and bi-chromatically pumped optical parametric oscillation on a chip,” Nat. Commun. 6, 8236 (2015).
[Crossref] [PubMed]

2014 (4)

2013 (5)

T. Pittman, “Viewpoint: It’s a good time for time-bin qubits,” Physics (College Park Md.) 6, 110 (2013).
[Crossref]

M. Förtsch, J. U. Fürst, C. Wittmann, D. Strekalov, A. Aiello, M. V. Chekhova, C. Silberhorn, G. Leuchs, and C. Marquardt, “A versatile source of single photons for quantum information processing,” Nat. Commun. 4, 1818 (2013).
[Crossref] [PubMed]

S. Azzini, D. Grassani, M. Galli, D. Gerace, M. Patrini, M. Liscidini, P. Velha, and D. Bajoni, “Stimulated and spontaneous four-wave mixing in silicon-on-insulator coupled photonic wire nano-cavities,” Appl. Phys. Lett. 103(3), 31117 (2013).
[Crossref]

D. J. Moss, R. Morandotti, A. L. Gaeta, and M. Lipson, “New CMOS-compatible platforms based on silicon nitride and Hydex for nonlinear optics,” Nat. Photonics 7(8), 597–607 (2013).
[Crossref]

A. Pasquazi, L. Caspani, M. Peccianti, M. Clerici, M. Ferrera, L. Razzari, D. Duchesne, B. E. Little, S. T. Chu, D. J. Moss, and R. Morandotti, “Self-locked optical parametric oscillation in a CMOS compatible microring resonator: a route to robust optical frequency comb generation on a chip,” Opt. Express 21(11), 13333–13341 (2013).
[Crossref] [PubMed]

2012 (2)

A. Pasquazi, M. Peccianti, B. E. Little, S. T. Chu, D. J. Moss, and R. Morandotti, “Stable, dual mode, high repetition rate mode-locked laser based on a microring resonator,” Opt. Express 20(24), 27355–27362 (2012).
[Crossref] [PubMed]

M. Davanço, J. R. Ong, A. B. Shehata, A. Tosi, I. Agha, S. Assefa, F. Xia, W. M. J. Green, S. Mookherjea, and K. Srinivasan, “Telecommunications-band heralded single photons from a silicon nanophotonic chip,” Appl. Phys. Lett. 100(26), 261104 (2012).
[Crossref]

2011 (2)

2010 (1)

2008 (1)

H. J. Kimble, “The quantum internet,” Nature 453(7198), 1023–1030 (2008).
[Crossref] [PubMed]

2007 (1)

P. Del’Haye, A. Schliesser, O. Arcizet, T. Wilken, R. Holzwarth, and T. J. Kippenberg, “Optical frequency comb generation from a monolithic microresonator,” Nature 450(7173), 1214–1217 (2007).
[Crossref] [PubMed]

2005 (2)

H. Takesue and K. Inoue, “1.5-microm band quantum-correlated photon pair generation in dispersion-shifted fiber: suppression of noise photons by cooling fiber,” Opt. Express 13(20), 7832–7839 (2005).
[Crossref] [PubMed]

S. Gee, F. Quinlan, S. Ozharar, and P. J. Delfyett, “Simultaneous optical comb frequency stabilization and super-mode noise suppression of harmonically mode-locked semiconductor ring laser using an intracavity etalon,” IEEE Photonics Technol. Lett. 17(1), 199–201 (2005).
[Crossref]

2004 (1)

2001 (1)

E. Knill, R. Laflamme, and G. J. Milburn, “A scheme for efficient quantum computation with linear optics,” Nature 409(6816), 46–52 (2001).
[Crossref] [PubMed]

2000 (2)

1999 (1)

J. Brendel, N. Gisin, W. Tittel, and H. Zbinden, “Pulsed energy-time entangled twin-photon source for quantum communication,” Phys. Rev. Lett. 82(12), 2594–2597 (1999).
[Crossref]

1993 (2)

G. T. Harvey and L. F. Mollenauer, “Harmonically mode-locked fiber ring laser with an internal Fabry-Perot stabilizer for soliton transmission,” Opt. Lett. 18(2), 107–109 (1993).
[Crossref] [PubMed]

X. Shan and D. M. Spirit, “Novel method to suppress noise in harmonically modelocked erbium fibre lasers,” Electron. Lett. 29(11), 979–981 (1993).
[Crossref]

1992 (1)

X. Shan, D. Cleland, and A. Ellis, “Stabilising Er fibre soliton laser with pulse phase locking,” Electron. Lett. 28(2), 182 (1992).
[Crossref]

1972 (1)

M. F. Becker, D. J. Kuizenga, and A. E. Siegman, “Harmonic mode locking of the Nd: YAG laser,” J. Quantum Electron. 8(8), 687–693 (1972).
[Crossref]

1968 (1)

G. R. Huggett, “Mode-locking of CW lasers by regenerative RF feedback,” Appl. Phys. Lett. 13(5), 186–187 (1968).
[Crossref]

1956 (1)

R. H. Brown and R. Q. Twiss, “Correlation between photons in two coherent beams of light,” Nature 177(4497), 27–29 (1956).
[Crossref]

Agha, I.

M. Davanço, J. R. Ong, A. B. Shehata, A. Tosi, I. Agha, S. Assefa, F. Xia, W. M. J. Green, S. Mookherjea, and K. Srinivasan, “Telecommunications-band heralded single photons from a silicon nanophotonic chip,” Appl. Phys. Lett. 100(26), 261104 (2012).
[Crossref]

Aiello, A.

M. Förtsch, J. U. Fürst, C. Wittmann, D. Strekalov, A. Aiello, M. V. Chekhova, C. Silberhorn, G. Leuchs, and C. Marquardt, “A versatile source of single photons for quantum information processing,” Nat. Commun. 4, 1818 (2013).
[Crossref] [PubMed]

Aktas, D.

Arcizet, O.

P. Del’Haye, A. Schliesser, O. Arcizet, T. Wilken, R. Holzwarth, and T. J. Kippenberg, “Optical frequency comb generation from a monolithic microresonator,” Nature 450(7173), 1214–1217 (2007).
[Crossref] [PubMed]

Assefa, S.

M. Davanço, J. R. Ong, A. B. Shehata, A. Tosi, I. Agha, S. Assefa, F. Xia, W. M. J. Green, S. Mookherjea, and K. Srinivasan, “Telecommunications-band heralded single photons from a silicon nanophotonic chip,” Appl. Phys. Lett. 100(26), 261104 (2012).
[Crossref]

Azaña, J.

M. Kues, C. Reimer, P. Roztocki, L. R. Cortés, S. Sciara, B. Wetzel, Y. Zhang, A. Cino, S. T. Chu, B. E. Little, D. J. Moss, L. Caspani, J. Azaña, and R. Morandotti, “On-chip generation of high-dimensional entangled quantum states and their coherent control,” Nature 546(7660), 622–626 (2017).
[Crossref] [PubMed]

Azzini, S.

D. Grassani, S. Azzini, M. Liscidini, M. Galli, M. J. Strain, M. Sorel, J. E. Sipe, and D. Bajoni, “Micrometer-scale integrated silicon source of time-energy entangled photons,” Optica 2(2), 88 (2015).
[Crossref]

S. Azzini, D. Grassani, M. Galli, D. Gerace, M. Patrini, M. Liscidini, P. Velha, and D. Bajoni, “Stimulated and spontaneous four-wave mixing in silicon-on-insulator coupled photonic wire nano-cavities,” Appl. Phys. Lett. 103(3), 31117 (2013).
[Crossref]

Bajoni, D.

L. Caspani, C. Xiong, B. J. Eggleton, D. Bajoni, M. Liscidini, M. Galli, R. Morandotti, and D. J. Moss, “Integrated sources of photon quantum states based on nonlinear optics,” Light Sci. Appl. 6, e17100 (2017).

D. Grassani, S. Azzini, M. Liscidini, M. Galli, M. J. Strain, M. Sorel, J. E. Sipe, and D. Bajoni, “Micrometer-scale integrated silicon source of time-energy entangled photons,” Optica 2(2), 88 (2015).
[Crossref]

S. Azzini, D. Grassani, M. Galli, D. Gerace, M. Patrini, M. Liscidini, P. Velha, and D. Bajoni, “Stimulated and spontaneous four-wave mixing in silicon-on-insulator coupled photonic wire nano-cavities,” Appl. Phys. Lett. 103(3), 31117 (2013).
[Crossref]

Becker, M. F.

M. F. Becker, D. J. Kuizenga, and A. E. Siegman, “Harmonic mode locking of the Nd: YAG laser,” J. Quantum Electron. 8(8), 687–693 (1972).
[Crossref]

Belabas-Plougonven, N.

Bentivegna, M.

Brendel, J.

J. Brendel, N. Gisin, W. Tittel, and H. Zbinden, “Pulsed energy-time entangled twin-photon source for quantum communication,” Phys. Rev. Lett. 82(12), 2594–2597 (1999).
[Crossref]

Bromberg, Y.

C. Reimer, M. Kues, P. Roztocki, B. Wetzel, F. Grazioso, B. E. Little, S. T. Chu, T. Johnston, Y. Bromberg, L. Caspani, D. J. Moss, and R. Morandotti, “Generation of multiphoton entangled quantum states by means of integrated frequency combs,” Science 351(6278), 1176–1180 (2016).
[Crossref] [PubMed]

Brown, R. H.

R. H. Brown and R. Q. Twiss, “Correlation between photons in two coherent beams of light,” Nature 177(4497), 27–29 (1956).
[Crossref]

Carmon, T.

Caspani, L.

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Figures (5)

Fig. 1
Fig. 1 Operational principle for pulsed quantum frequency comb generation. A pulsed excitation field was coupled to a nonlinear integrated micro-cavity, and through selective frequency filtering, was used to excite a single micro-cavity resonance (green). Spontaneous four-wave mixing mediated the annihilation of two photons from the excitation spectral-mode and the generation of two daughter photons, called signal and idler (red and blue), emitted in spectrally-distinct frequency comb modes. As a consequence of energy conservation, these signal and idler frequency modes had an equal spectral displacement from the excitation frequency (such that the daughter photons occupy, e.g. signal-N and idler-N, where N = 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, etc. is the resonance index).
Fig. 2
Fig. 2 Experimental setup for the actively mode-locked excitation. The generation scheme for pulsed quantum frequency combs consisted of a nonlinear micro-cavity embedded in a larger, external cavity. The external cavity incorporated an active electro-optic amplitude modulator, an optical gain component, and a narrow band-pass filter, with the latter limiting the scheme’s lasing to a pass-band corresponding to a single micro-cavity resonance. The external cavity length was chosen such that several external cavity modes oscillated within the bandwidth of this single resonance. With the introduction of the amplitude-modulation (at a frequency equal to the external mode spacing or a multiple of this quantity), these mode oscillations were phase-locked. This gave rise to a pulsed excitation that was limited to the resonance bandwidth, with a repetition rate corresponding to the modulation frequency. In turn, this pulsed excitation led to the generation of a pulsed quantum frequency comb, which could then be separated from the excitation field via a high-isolation notch filter. Inset: Single-photon count spectrum measured after the excitation field was filtered out, acquired using a 12.5 GHz tunable band-pass filter and single photon detector.
Fig. 3
Fig. 3 Laser pulse characterization. (a) Real-time intensity trace of the pulse output, showing 50 pulses with very low 0.42% RMS noise. The trace was captured using a fast detection system (photodiode + oscilloscope with 25 GHz bandwidth). The pulse train corresponds to a mode-locked operation of the setup in Fig. 2, with an amplitude-modulation signal at a frequency corresponding to the external cavity mode spacing (here 9.8 MHz, determined by the external cavity length). (b) Real-time intensity trace, showing 100 pulses with 0.95% RMS noise, recorded when the amplitude-modulation was driven at double the cavity mode spacing frequency, i.e. 19.5 MHz.
Fig. 4
Fig. 4 Characterization of the photon pair coincidence-to-accidental ratio. (a) The signal and idler photons (signal-2, idler-2) were routed to two separate detectors, where a correlation function of their coincident detections was measured. (b). The coincidence-to-accidental ratio showed the expected decrease with increasing laser powers, while the coincidence rate showed the predicted increase, as caused by an increased probability of generating multiple photon pairs at stronger excitation energies.
Fig. 5
Fig. 5 Characterization of photon emission rate and purity. Top: The coincidence rate was measured for photon pairs produced in the signal-2 and idler-2 resonances as a function of the increasing repetition rate of the pulsed excitation. The coincidence rate was found to grow linearly while the coincidence-to-accidental ratio (Middle) was preserved (as the pulse shape and peak powers were maintained for different repetition rates). Bottom: Second-order coherence function measurements were used to determine the effective number of spectral modes in the signal-2 resonance (see text for details). We found an effective mode number of 1.00 ± 0.11 averaged across the repetition rates tested, corresponding to a pure single-frequency-mode photon state. Red lines (superposed) correspond to linear fit functions.

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