The investigation of multi-photon quantum interference in symmetric multi-port splitters has both fundamental and applicative interest. Destructive quantum interference in devices with specific symmetry leads to the suppression of a large number of possible output states, generalizing the Hong-Ou-Mandel effect; simple suppression laws have been developed for interferometers implementing the Fourier or the Hadamard transform over the modes. In fact, these enhanced interference features in the output distribution can be used to assess the indistinguishability of single-photon sources, and symmetric interferometers have been envisaged as benchmark or validation devices for Boson-Sampling machines. In this work we devise an innovative approach to implement symmetric multi-mode interferometers that realize the Fourier and Hadamard transform over the optical modes, exploiting integrated waveguide circuits. Our design is based on the optical implementations of the Fast-Fourier and Fast-Hadamard transform algorithms, and exploits a novel three-dimensional layout which is made possible by the unique capabilities of femtosecond laser waveguide writing. We fabricate devices with m = 4 and m = 8 modes and we let two identical photons evolve in the circuit. By characterizing the coincidence output distribution we are able to observe experimentally the known suppression laws for the output states. In particular, we characterize the robustness of this approach to assess the photons' indistinguishability and to rule out alternative non-quantum states of light. The reported results pave the way to the adoption of symmetric multiport interferometers as pivotal tools in the diagnostics and certification of quantum photonic platforms.
Andrea Crespi, Roberto Osellame, Roberta Ramponi, Marco Bentivegna, Fulvio Flamini, Nicolò Spagnolo, Niko Viggianiello, Luca Innocenti, Paolo Mataloni, and Fabio Sciarrino, "Observing quantum interference in 3D integrated-photonic symmetric multiports," Proc. SPIE 10106, Integrated Optics: Devices, Materials, and Technologies XXI, 101061C (Presented at SPIE OPTO: February 02, 2017; Published: 16 February 2017); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2250791.
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