Luminescent lattice defects (so called “color centers”) in diamond provide a robust, solid-state architecture for exploring quantum optics, with many facilitating direct access to highly coherent electron and nuclear spins. The past two decades have seen tremendous advances in our ability to prepare and control the quantum states of these atom-like systems. For instance, demonstrations that leverage the diamond nitrogen vacancy (NV–) center as a spin-photon interface have included the generation of indistinguishable photons, a quantum bit memory exceeding 1 second, entanglement of two distance solid-state qubits, and deterministic long distance quantum teleportation. While diamond color centers are an attractive platform for scalable quantum information processing, the diamond solid-state matrix, by its very nature, inhibits efficient photon collection into either free-space or fiber-optical systems. Due to its large refractive index, emitted photons are inevitably trapped within the diamond crystal by total internal reflection, limiting count rates and overall scalability of information processing via quantum optical protocols.
To this end, there has been significant progress towards integrating individual diamond color centers within well-defined radiation channels: namely, those provided by monolithic diamond nanophotonic networks. Currently, on-chip low loss (~ few db/cm) diamond waveguide networks are available, as well as key passive photonic elements like micron scale ring and disk resonators and photonic crystal cavities, with high optical quality (Q) factors. Specifically, we recently demonstrated a scalable ‘angled-etching’ nanofabrication method for realizing nanophotonic networks starting from bulk single-crystal diamond substrates (MJ Burek et al., Nano Letters 2012, MJ Burek et al., Nat Comm. 2014). Angled-etching employs anisotropic oxygen-based plasma etching at an oblique angle to the substrate surface, resulting in suspended optical structures with triangular cross-sections. Using this approach, we demonstrated high Q-factor (> 10^5) optical nanocavities fabricated in bulk single-crystal diamond, operating over a wide wavelength range (visible to telecom). Beyond isolated photonic devices, we have further developed free-standing angled-etched waveguides which efficiently route photons between diamond optical nanocavities, while maintaining physical support through attachment to the bulk substrate. Although on-chip diamond nanophotonics realized by angled-etching continue to mature, efficient off-chip optical coupling schemes which provide near seamless transition of photons on-chip into commercial optical fibers remain an outstanding challenge. This is especially pertinent in applications involving single photons, such as quantum optics with diamond color centers.
Herein, we demonstrate a high efficiency fiber-optical interface with aforementioned on-chip diamond nanophotonic networks, achieving > 90% power coupling at both telecom and visible wavelengths. The coupling scheme utilizes a single mode optical fiber, with one end fabricated into a conical taper, to adiabatically transition guided light between on-chip tapered diamond waveguides and off-chip optical fiber networks. Additionally, we develop techniques to robustly pigtail single-mode fibers with diamond waveguide couplers, yielding a packaged technology that may potentially enable deployment in harsh environments, including vacuum, sub-Kelvin cryogenics, or even liquid/biological environments. With these newly developed optical integration schemes, single-crystal diamond is now a viable integrated nanophotonics platform, servicing a range of applications, from non-linear optics and chemical sensing, to quantum science and cavity optomechanics.
Michael J. Burek, Charles Meuwly, Jake Rochman, Srujan Meesala, Vivek Venkataraman, and Marko Loncar, "Fiber-integrated nanophotonic networks in bulk single-crystal diamond substrates
(Conference Presentation)," Proc. SPIE 9884, Nanophotonics VI, 98841P (Presented at SPIE Photonics Europe: April 07, 2016; Published: 26 July 2016); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2227935.5042345269001.
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