Quantum information processing relies on the fundamental property of quantum interference, where the quality of the interference directly correlates to the indistinguishability of the interacting particles. The creation of these indistinguishable particles, photons in this case, has conventionally been accomplished with nonlinear crystals and optical filters to remove spectral distinguishability, albeit sacrificing the number of photons. This research describes the use of an integrated aluminum nitride microring resonator circuit to selectively generate photon pairs at the narrow cavity transmissions, thereby producing spectrally indistinguishable photons in the ultraviolet regime to interact with trapped ion quantum memories. The spectral characteristics of these photons must be carefully controlled for two reasons: (i) interference quality depends on the spectral indistinguishability, and (ii) the wavelength must be strictly controlled to interact with atomic transitions. The specific ion of interest for these trapped ion quantum memories is Ytterbium which has a transition at 369.5 nm with 12.5 GHz offset levels. Ytterbium ions serve as very long lived and stable quantum memories with storage times on the order of 10’s of minutes, compared with photonic quantum memories which are limited to 10-6 to 10-3 seconds. The combination of the long lived atomic memory, integrated photonic circuitry, and the photonic quantum bits are necessary to produce the first quantum information processors. In this article, I will present results on wavelength operation, dispersion analysis, and second harmonic generation in aluminum nitride waveguides.
Ring resonators are used as photon pair sources by taking advantage of the materials second or third order non- linearities through the processes of spontaneous parametric downconversion and spontaneous four wave mixing respectively. Two materials of interest for these applications are silicon for the infrared and aluminum nitride for the ultraviolet through the infrared. When fabricated into ring type sources they are capable of producing pairs of indistinguishable photons but typically suffer from an effective 50% loss. By slightly decoupling the input waveguide from the ring, the drop port coincidence ratio can be significantly increased with the trade-off being that the pump is less efficiently coupled into the ring. Ring resonators with this design have been demonstrated having coincidence ratios of 96% but requiring a factor of ~10 increase in the pump power. Through the modification of the coupling design that relies on additional spectral dependence, it is possible to achieve similar coincidence ratios without the increased pumping requirement. This can be achieved by coupling the input waveguide to the ring multiple times, thus creating a Mach-Zehnder interferometer. This coupler design can be used on both sides of the ring resonator so that resonances supported by one of the couplers are suppressed by the other. This is the ideal configuration for a photon-pair source as it can only support the pump photons at the input side while only allowing the generated photons to leave through the output side. Recently, this device has been realized with preliminary results exhibiting the desired spectral dependence and with a coincidence ratio as high as ~ 97% while allowing the pump to be nearly critically coupled to the ring. The demonstrated near unity coincidence ratio infers a near maximal heralding efficiency from the fabricated device. This device has the potential to greatly improve the scalability and performance of quantum computing and communication systems.
Presented here are results on a silicon ring resonator photon pair source with a high heralding efficiency. Previous ring resonator sources suffered from an effective 50% loss because, in order to generate the photons, the pump must be able to couple into the resonator which is an effective loss channel. However, in practice the optical loss of the pump can be traded off for a dramatic increase in heralding efficiency. This research found theoretically that the heralding efficiency should increase by a factor of ∼ 3:75 with a factor of 10 increase in the required pump power. This was demonstrated experimentally by varying the separation (gap) between the input waveguide and the ring while maintaining a constant drop port gap. The ring (R = 18:5μm, W = 500nm, and H = 220nm) was pumped by a tunable laser (λ ≈ 1550nm). The non-degenerate photons, produced via spontaneous four wave mixing, exited the ring and were coupled to fiber upon which they were filtered symmetrically about the pump. Coincidence counts were collected for all possible photon path combinations (through and drop port) and the ratio of the drop port coincidences to the sum of the drop port and cross term coincidences (one photon from the drop port and one from the through port) was calculated. With a 350nm pump waveguide gap (2:33 times larger than the drop port gap) we confirmed our theoretical predictions, with an observed improvement in heralding efficiency by a factor of ∼ 2:61 (96:7% of correlated photons coupled out of the drop port). These results will enable increased photon flux integrated photon sources which can be utilized for high performance quantum computing and communication systems.
InAs quantum dot (QD) laser heterostructures are grown by molecular beam epitaxy (MBE) system on GaAs substrates and fabricated. The InAs QD lasers exhibit comparable properties of the state-of-the-art QD lasers with the threshold current density Jth and efficiency ηi of 475A/cm2 and 72.6%, respectively, at room temperature. The quantum dot laser emission is butt-joint coupled into silicon photonics waveguides by aligning the laser and silicon photonics chips with two translation stages. Due to the optical feedback to the laser cavity at the air/Si interface, the laser power self-pulsation and reduced threshold current density are observed. And the effective facet reflectivity, Reff, of 62.7% is obtained from the theoretically analysis of the laser characteristics. Furthermore, the silicon photonics waveguides interface is coated with the SiO2/TiO2 antireflection (AR) coating layers, and no laser performance interference is observed owing the reduced optical feedback.
Here we present the experimental demonstration of a Silicon ring resonator photon-pair source. The crystalline Silicon ring resonator (radius of 18.5μm) was designed to realize low dispersion across multiple resonances, which allows for operation with a high quality factor of Q~50k. In turn, the source exhibits very high brightness of >3x105 photons/s/mW2/GHz since the produced photon pairs have a very narrow bandwidth. Furthermore, the waveguidefiber coupling loss was minimized to <1.5dB using an inverse tapered waveguide (tip width of ~150nm over a 300μm length) that is butt-coupled to a high-NA fiber (Nufern UHNA-7). This ensured minimal loss of photon pairs to the detectors, which enabled very high purity photon pairs with minimal noise, as exhibited by a very high Coincidental-Accidental Ratio of >1900. The low coupling loss (3dB fiber-fiber) also allowed for operation with very low off-chip pump power of <200μW. In addition, the zero dispersion of the ring resonator resulted in the production of a photon-pair comb across multiple resonances symmetric about the pump resonance (every ~5nm spanning >20nm), which could be used in future wavelength division multiplexed quantum networks.