Generating Entangled Qubits And Qudits With Fully On-Chip Photonic Quantum Source

As the world of computing and communication draws ever closer to a quantum future, researchers are faced with many of the similar challenges encountered with classical computing and the associated semiconductor hurdles. For the use of entangled photon pairs, for example, it was already possible to perform the entanglement using miniaturized photonic structures, but these still required a bulky external laser source. In a recently demonstrated first, a team of researchers have created a fully on-chip integrated laser source with photonic circuitry that can perform all of these tasks without external modules.

In their paper published in Nature Photonics, Hatam Mahmudlu and colleagues cover the process in detail. Key to this achievement was finding a way to integrate the laser and photonics side into a single, hybric chip while overcoming the (refractive) mismatch between the InP optical amplifier and Si3N4 waveguide feedback circuit. The appeal of photon-based quantum entanglement should be obvious when one considers the relatively stable nature of these pairs and their compatibility with existing optical (fiber) infrastructure. What was missing previously was an economical and compact way to create these pairs outside of a laboratory setup. Assuming that the described approach can be scaled up for mass-production, it may just make quantum communications a realistic option outside of government organizations.

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