Abstract

Integrated photonics offers great potential for quantum communication devices in terms of complexity, robustness, and scalability. Silicon photonics in particular is a leading platform for quantum photonic technologies, with further benefits of miniaturization, cost-effective device manufacture, and compatibility with CMOS microelectronics. However, effective techniques for high-speed modulation of quantum states in standard silicon photonic platforms have been limited. Here we overcome this limitation and demonstrate high-speed low-error quantum key distribution modulation with silicon photonic devices combining slow thermo-optic DC biases and fast (10 GHz bandwidth) carrier-depletion modulation. The ability to scale up these integrated circuits and incorporate microelectronics opens the way to new and advanced integrated quantum communication technologies and larger adoption of quantum-secured communications.

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References

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2016 (2)

2015 (6)

A. R. Dixon, J. F. Dynes, M. Lucamarini, B. Fröhlich, A. W. Sharpe, A. Plews, S. Tam, Z. L. Yuan, Y. Tanizawa, H. Sato, S. Kawamura, M. Fujiwara, M. Sasaki, and A. J. Shields, “High speed prototype quantum key distribution system and long term field trial,” Opt. Express 23, 7583–7592 (2015).
[Crossref]

M. Sasaki, M. Fujiwara, R.-B. Jin, M. Takeoka, H. Endo, K.-I. Yoshino, T. Ochi, S. Asami, and A. Tajima, “Quantum photonic network: concept, basic tools, and future issues,” IEEE J. Sel. Top. Quantum Electron. 21, 49–61 (2015).
[Crossref]

F. Najafi, J. Mower, N. C. Harris, F. Bellei, A. Dane, C. Lee, X. Hu, P. Kharel, F. Marsili, S. Assefa, K. K. Berggren, and D. Englund, “On-chip detection of non-classical light by scalable integration of single-photon detectors,” Nat. Commun. 6, 5873 (2015).
[Crossref]

C. Doerr, “Silicon photonic integration in telecommunications,” Front. Phys. 3, 37 (2015).
[Crossref]

C. Sun, M. T. Wade, Y. Lee, J. S. Orcutt, L. Alloatti, M. S. Georgas, A. S. Waterman, J. M. Shainline, R. R. Avizienis, S. Lin, B. R. Moss, R. Kumar, F. Pavanello, A. H. Atabaki, H. M. Cook, A. J. Ou, J. C. Leu, Y.-H. Chen, K. Asanović, R. J. Ram, M. A. Popović, and V. M. Stojanović, “Single-chip microprocessor that communicates directly using light,” Nature 528, 534–538 (2015).
[Crossref]

P. P. Absil, P. De Heyn, H. Chen, P. Verheyen, G. Lepage, M. Pantouvaki, J. De Coster, A. Khanna, Y. Drissi, D. Van Thourhout, and J. Van Campenhout, “Imec iSiPP25G silicon photonics: a robust CMOS-based photonics technology platform,” Proc. SPIE 9367, 93670V (2015).
[Crossref]

2014 (4)

A. E.-J. Lim, J. Song, Q. Fang, C. Li, X. Tu, N. Duan, K. K. Chen, R. P.-C. Tern, and T.-Y. Liow, “Review of silicon photonics foundry efforts,” IEEE J. Sel. Top. Quantum Electron. 20, 405–416 (2014).
[Crossref]

P. Zhang, K. Aungskunsiri, E. Martn-López, J. Wabnig, M. Lobino, R. W. Nock, J. Munns, D. Bonneau, P. Jiang, H. W. Li, A. Laing, J. G. Rarity, A. O. Niskanen, M. G. Thompson, and J. L. O’Brien, “Reference-frame-independent quantum-key-distribution server with a telecom tether for an on-chip client,” Phys. Rev. Lett. 112, 130501 (2014).
[Crossref]

H.-K. Lo, M. Curty, and K. Tamaki, “Secure quantum key distribution,” Nat. Photonics 8, 595–604 (2014).
[Crossref]

J. Cardenas, C. B. Poitras, K. Luke, L.-W. Luo, P. A. Morton, and M. Lipson, “High coupling efficiency etched facet tapers in silicon waveguides,” IEEE Photon. Technol. Lett. 26, 2380–2382 (2014).
[Crossref]

2013 (3)

2012 (3)

W. H. P. Pernice, C. Schuck, O. Minaeva, M. Li, G. N. Goltsman, A. V. Sergienko, and H. X. Tang, “High-speed and high-efficiency travelling wave single-photon detectors embedded in nanophotonic circuits,” Nat. Commun. 3, 1325 (2012).
[Crossref]

A. Tanaka, M. Fujiwara, K.-I. Yoshino, S. Takahashi, Y. Nambu, A. Tomita, S. Miki, T. Yamashita, Z. Wang, M. Sasaki, and A. Tajima, “High-speed quantum key distribution system for 1-Mbps real-time key generation,” IEEE J. Quantum Electron. 48, 542–550 (2012).
[Crossref]

Z. Fang and C. Z. Zhao, “Recent progress in silicon photonics: a review,” ISRN Opt. 2012, 428690 (2012).
[Crossref]

2011 (1)

M. G. Thompson, A. Politi, J. C. Matthews, and J. L. O’Brien, “Integrated waveguide circuits for optical quantum computing,” IET Circuits Dev. Syst. 5, 94–102 (2011).
[Crossref]

2010 (2)

G. T. Reed, G. Mashanovich, F. Gardes, and D. Thomson, “Silicon optical modulators,” Nat. Photonics 4, 518–526 (2010).
[Crossref]

D. Liang and J. E. Bowers, “Recent progress in lasers on silicon,” Nat. Photonics 4, 511–517 (2010).
[Crossref]

2009 (3)

J. Cardenas, C. B. Poitras, J. T. Robinson, K. Preston, L. Chen, and M. Lipson, “Low loss etchless silicon photonic waveguides,” Opt. Express 17, 4752–4757 (2009).
[Crossref]

G. Xavier, N. Walenta, G. V. De Faria, G. Temporão, N. Gisin, H. Zbinden, and J. Von der Weid, “Experimental polarization encoded quantum key distribution over optical fibres with real-time continuous birefringence compensation,” New J. Phys. 11, 045015 (2009).
[Crossref]

V. Scarani, H. Bechmann-Pasquinucci, N. Cerf, M. Dušek, N. Lütkenhaus, and M. Peev, “The security of practical quantum key distribution,” Rev. Mod. Phys. 81, 1301–1350 (2009).
[Crossref]

2008 (1)

C. Branciard, N. Gisin, and V. Scarani, “Upper bounds for the security of two distributed-phase reference protocols of quantum cryptography,” New J. Phys. 10, 013031 (2008).
[Crossref]

2007 (1)

H.-K. Lo and J. Preskill, “Security of quantum key distribution using weak coherent states with non-random phases,” Quantum Inf. Comput. 7, 431–458 (2007).

2005 (2)

X. Ma, B. Qi, Y. Zhao, and H.-K. Lo, “Practical decoy state for quantum key distribution,” Phys. Rev. A 72, 012326 (2005).
[Crossref]

D. Stucki, N. Brunner, N. Gisin, V. Scarani, and H. Zbinden, “Fast and simple one-way quantum key distribution,” Appl. Phys. Lett. 87, 194108 (2005).
[Crossref]

Absil, P. P.

P. P. Absil, P. De Heyn, H. Chen, P. Verheyen, G. Lepage, M. Pantouvaki, J. De Coster, A. Khanna, Y. Drissi, D. Van Thourhout, and J. Van Campenhout, “Imec iSiPP25G silicon photonics: a robust CMOS-based photonics technology platform,” Proc. SPIE 9367, 93670V (2015).
[Crossref]

Alloatti, L.

C. Sun, M. T. Wade, Y. Lee, J. S. Orcutt, L. Alloatti, M. S. Georgas, A. S. Waterman, J. M. Shainline, R. R. Avizienis, S. Lin, B. R. Moss, R. Kumar, F. Pavanello, A. H. Atabaki, H. M. Cook, A. J. Ou, J. C. Leu, Y.-H. Chen, K. Asanović, R. J. Ram, M. A. Popović, and V. M. Stojanović, “Single-chip microprocessor that communicates directly using light,” Nature 528, 534–538 (2015).
[Crossref]

Asami, S.

M. Sasaki, M. Fujiwara, R.-B. Jin, M. Takeoka, H. Endo, K.-I. Yoshino, T. Ochi, S. Asami, and A. Tajima, “Quantum photonic network: concept, basic tools, and future issues,” IEEE J. Sel. Top. Quantum Electron. 21, 49–61 (2015).
[Crossref]

Asanovic, K.

C. Sun, M. T. Wade, Y. Lee, J. S. Orcutt, L. Alloatti, M. S. Georgas, A. S. Waterman, J. M. Shainline, R. R. Avizienis, S. Lin, B. R. Moss, R. Kumar, F. Pavanello, A. H. Atabaki, H. M. Cook, A. J. Ou, J. C. Leu, Y.-H. Chen, K. Asanović, R. J. Ram, M. A. Popović, and V. M. Stojanović, “Single-chip microprocessor that communicates directly using light,” Nature 528, 534–538 (2015).
[Crossref]

Assefa, S.

F. Najafi, J. Mower, N. C. Harris, F. Bellei, A. Dane, C. Lee, X. Hu, P. Kharel, F. Marsili, S. Assefa, K. K. Berggren, and D. Englund, “On-chip detection of non-classical light by scalable integration of single-photon detectors,” Nat. Commun. 6, 5873 (2015).
[Crossref]

Atabaki, A. H.

C. Sun, M. T. Wade, Y. Lee, J. S. Orcutt, L. Alloatti, M. S. Georgas, A. S. Waterman, J. M. Shainline, R. R. Avizienis, S. Lin, B. R. Moss, R. Kumar, F. Pavanello, A. H. Atabaki, H. M. Cook, A. J. Ou, J. C. Leu, Y.-H. Chen, K. Asanović, R. J. Ram, M. A. Popović, and V. M. Stojanović, “Single-chip microprocessor that communicates directly using light,” Nature 528, 534–538 (2015).
[Crossref]

Aungskunsiri, K.

P. Zhang, K. Aungskunsiri, E. Martn-López, J. Wabnig, M. Lobino, R. W. Nock, J. Munns, D. Bonneau, P. Jiang, H. W. Li, A. Laing, J. G. Rarity, A. O. Niskanen, M. G. Thompson, and J. L. O’Brien, “Reference-frame-independent quantum-key-distribution server with a telecom tether for an on-chip client,” Phys. Rev. Lett. 112, 130501 (2014).
[Crossref]

Avizienis, R. R.

C. Sun, M. T. Wade, Y. Lee, J. S. Orcutt, L. Alloatti, M. S. Georgas, A. S. Waterman, J. M. Shainline, R. R. Avizienis, S. Lin, B. R. Moss, R. Kumar, F. Pavanello, A. H. Atabaki, H. M. Cook, A. J. Ou, J. C. Leu, Y.-H. Chen, K. Asanović, R. J. Ram, M. A. Popović, and V. M. Stojanović, “Single-chip microprocessor that communicates directly using light,” Nature 528, 534–538 (2015).
[Crossref]

Baek, B.

F. Marsili, V. B. Verma, J. A. Stern, S. Harrington, A. E. Lita, T. Gerrits, I. Vayshenker, B. Baek, M. D. Shaw, R. P. Mirin, and S. W. Nam, “Detecting single infrared photons with 93% system efficiency,” Nat. Photonics 7, 210–214 (2013).
[Crossref]

Bechmann-Pasquinucci, H.

V. Scarani, H. Bechmann-Pasquinucci, N. Cerf, M. Dušek, N. Lütkenhaus, and M. Peev, “The security of practical quantum key distribution,” Rev. Mod. Phys. 81, 1301–1350 (2009).
[Crossref]

Bellei, F.

F. Najafi, J. Mower, N. C. Harris, F. Bellei, A. Dane, C. Lee, X. Hu, P. Kharel, F. Marsili, S. Assefa, K. K. Berggren, and D. Englund, “On-chip detection of non-classical light by scalable integration of single-photon detectors,” Nat. Commun. 6, 5873 (2015).
[Crossref]

Bennett, C. H.

C. H. Bennett and G. Brassard, “Quantum cryptography: public key distribution and coin tossing,” in IEEE International Conference on Computers, Systems, and Signal Processing (1984), p. 175–179.

Berggren, K. K.

F. Najafi, J. Mower, N. C. Harris, F. Bellei, A. Dane, C. Lee, X. Hu, P. Kharel, F. Marsili, S. Assefa, K. K. Berggren, and D. Englund, “On-chip detection of non-classical light by scalable integration of single-photon detectors,” Nat. Commun. 6, 5873 (2015).
[Crossref]

Bonneau, D.

J. W. Silverstone, D. Bonneau, J. L. O’Brien, and M. G. Thompson, “Silicon quantum photonics,” IEEE J. Sel. Top. Quantum Electron. 22, 1–13 (2016).
[Crossref]

J. Wang, D. Bonneau, M. Villa, J. W. Silverstone, R. Santagati, S. Miki, T. Yamashita, M. Fujiwara, M. Sasaki, H. Terai, M. G. Tanner, C. M. Natarajan, R. H. Hadfield, J. L. O’Brien, and M. G. Thompson, “Chip-to-chip quantum photonic interconnect by path-polarization interconversion,” Optica 3, 407–413 (2016).
[Crossref]

P. Zhang, K. Aungskunsiri, E. Martn-López, J. Wabnig, M. Lobino, R. W. Nock, J. Munns, D. Bonneau, P. Jiang, H. W. Li, A. Laing, J. G. Rarity, A. O. Niskanen, M. G. Thompson, and J. L. O’Brien, “Reference-frame-independent quantum-key-distribution server with a telecom tether for an on-chip client,” Phys. Rev. Lett. 112, 130501 (2014).
[Crossref]

Bowers, J. E.

D. Liang and J. E. Bowers, “Recent progress in lasers on silicon,” Nat. Photonics 4, 511–517 (2010).
[Crossref]

Branciard, C.

C. Branciard, N. Gisin, and V. Scarani, “Upper bounds for the security of two distributed-phase reference protocols of quantum cryptography,” New J. Phys. 10, 013031 (2008).
[Crossref]

Brassard, G.

C. H. Bennett and G. Brassard, “Quantum cryptography: public key distribution and coin tossing,” in IEEE International Conference on Computers, Systems, and Signal Processing (1984), p. 175–179.

Brunner, N.

D. Stucki, N. Brunner, N. Gisin, V. Scarani, and H. Zbinden, “Fast and simple one-way quantum key distribution,” Appl. Phys. Lett. 87, 194108 (2005).
[Crossref]

Cardenas, J.

J. Cardenas, C. B. Poitras, K. Luke, L.-W. Luo, P. A. Morton, and M. Lipson, “High coupling efficiency etched facet tapers in silicon waveguides,” IEEE Photon. Technol. Lett. 26, 2380–2382 (2014).
[Crossref]

J. Cardenas, C. B. Poitras, J. T. Robinson, K. Preston, L. Chen, and M. Lipson, “Low loss etchless silicon photonic waveguides,” Opt. Express 17, 4752–4757 (2009).
[Crossref]

Cerf, N.

V. Scarani, H. Bechmann-Pasquinucci, N. Cerf, M. Dušek, N. Lütkenhaus, and M. Peev, “The security of practical quantum key distribution,” Rev. Mod. Phys. 81, 1301–1350 (2009).
[Crossref]

Chen, H.

P. P. Absil, P. De Heyn, H. Chen, P. Verheyen, G. Lepage, M. Pantouvaki, J. De Coster, A. Khanna, Y. Drissi, D. Van Thourhout, and J. Van Campenhout, “Imec iSiPP25G silicon photonics: a robust CMOS-based photonics technology platform,” Proc. SPIE 9367, 93670V (2015).
[Crossref]

Chen, K. K.

A. E.-J. Lim, J. Song, Q. Fang, C. Li, X. Tu, N. Duan, K. K. Chen, R. P.-C. Tern, and T.-Y. Liow, “Review of silicon photonics foundry efforts,” IEEE J. Sel. Top. Quantum Electron. 20, 405–416 (2014).
[Crossref]

Chen, L.

Chen, Y.-H.

C. Sun, M. T. Wade, Y. Lee, J. S. Orcutt, L. Alloatti, M. S. Georgas, A. S. Waterman, J. M. Shainline, R. R. Avizienis, S. Lin, B. R. Moss, R. Kumar, F. Pavanello, A. H. Atabaki, H. M. Cook, A. J. Ou, J. C. Leu, Y.-H. Chen, K. Asanović, R. J. Ram, M. A. Popović, and V. M. Stojanović, “Single-chip microprocessor that communicates directly using light,” Nature 528, 534–538 (2015).
[Crossref]

Cook, H. M.

C. Sun, M. T. Wade, Y. Lee, J. S. Orcutt, L. Alloatti, M. S. Georgas, A. S. Waterman, J. M. Shainline, R. R. Avizienis, S. Lin, B. R. Moss, R. Kumar, F. Pavanello, A. H. Atabaki, H. M. Cook, A. J. Ou, J. C. Leu, Y.-H. Chen, K. Asanović, R. J. Ram, M. A. Popović, and V. M. Stojanović, “Single-chip microprocessor that communicates directly using light,” Nature 528, 534–538 (2015).
[Crossref]

Curty, M.

H.-K. Lo, M. Curty, and K. Tamaki, “Secure quantum key distribution,” Nat. Photonics 8, 595–604 (2014).
[Crossref]

Dane, A.

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Supplementary Material (1)

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Figures (3)

Fig. 1.
Fig. 1.

Integrated silicon photonic devices for QKD: (a) coherent-one-way: a balanced Mach–Zehnder interferometer (MZI) comprising two multi-mode interference (MMI) devices acting as beam splitters, with phase modulation from thermo-optic phase modulators (TOPMs) and carrier-depletion modulators (CDMs), allows for the encoding of quantum information in path, or pulse modulation. (b) Polarization encoded BB84: combining the two paths of the MZI with a two-dimensional grating coupler allows for the conversion from path encoded information to polarization encoded information (P2P), suitable for communication in free space. (c) Time-bin encoded BB84: an unbalanced asymmetric MZI (AMZI) allows for encoding in time by temporally separating weak coherent pulses into two time intervals using an on-chip delay of 1.5 ns. The extra loss this incurs is balanced by an MZI used as a tunable beam splitter on the opposing arm. The last beam splitter in the AMZI is replaced with another MZI that allows for the selection of time-bin |0 and |1 states. DC offsets are provided by the TOPMs and fast modulation by four CDMs. (d) Illustrated Bloch sphere highlighting the DC offset at |+i (red dot), set by the TOPMs. Each CDM is only required to modulate up to π/2 to permit the encoding of each BB84 state.

Fig. 2.
Fig. 2.

Thermo-optic and carrier-depletion phase modulation in silicon photonics fabricated with standard doping processes [20]. (a) Cross section of the thermo-optic phase modulation waveguide with p++ doping in the waveguide slab and intrinsic (i) silicon waveguide core, followed by the power measured at the two outputs of an MZI, the fitted quadratic phase (φ) relationship, and the change in transmission (ΔT) as a function of the applied voltage (V). (b) Cross section of the carrier-depletion phase modulator with p and n doping in the waveguide core, followed by the power measured at the two outputs of an MZI (with an additional TOPM providing a π/2 offset or initially equal intensity outputs), the fitted phase (φ) relationship illustrating saturation, and the change in transmission (ΔT) as a function of the applied voltage (V).

Fig. 3.
Fig. 3.

Estimated secret key rates: the main data sets (squares, circles, and diamonds) were collected by emulating a quantum channel with the use of a variable optical attenuator and assuming standard fiber losses; however, the data shown with asterisks was collected using a 20 km fiber spool as the quantum channel. (a) Raw and secure key rates using the chip to implement the COW QKD protocol, as illustrated in Fig. 1(a). The system operates with a 1.72 GHz clock-rate with a QBER of 1.01% and an estimated secure key rate of 916 kbps over a 20 km fiber. (b) Raw and secure key rates using the chip to produce polarization encoded BB84 states, as illustrated in Fig. 1(b). We measure a low QBER of 1.1% while the transmitter is operated with a 1 GHz clock-rate, which yields an estimated secure key rate of 329 kbps over 20 km. (c) Histogram measurements of the time-bin encoded BB84 state preparation and measurement, as illustrated in Fig. 1(c).

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