The primary aim of this project is to realise noiseless and ultra-low threshold optical components for improved optical information processing, transmission, display and storage, by exploiting the principles of quantum optics and electronics. The objectives can be broken down into two main categories:
1) Compact and integrated/fibre noise-free optical amplifiers and optical taps, with performances beyond the usual shot noise limit.
2) Light generators where the efficiency and noise will be optimised as far as allowed by the basic quantum limits. Special emphasis will be put on light emitting microcavity
The concept underlying noise-free amplification, coupling and taping is optical parametric interaction, that allows to circumvent the classical 3 dB limit for the added noise. It will be implemented in miniature crystal resonators, wave guides and fibres, with a special emphasis on soliton pulses for the latter system. These devices can be utilised as light generators as well as amplifiers. Under such conditions they constitute sub-shot noise sources.
Other controlled-noise sources will be obtained by cavity engineering of classical commercially available semiconductor lasers. Stripe and vertical cavity type lasers will be considered. Microcavities with various types of emissive materials, such as semiconductor quantum wells and dyes in polymers will be assessed. Thresholdless behaviour and high efficiency will be sought.
The integrated/fibre devices for noiseless amplification and duplication aimed by this project constitute the building blocks of a noise-free optical bus. They will ultimately lead to the demonstration of a compact information-carrying channel that can be read out by several users without contamination by noise.
The development of light emitters with an optical output stabilised to better than the shot noise limit of ordinary lasers will permit ultra-low intensity signal generation and processing. Microcavity based emitters will have enhanced directional emission and high efficiency.
The Industrial Steering Committee, composed of representatives of several large companies involved in IT in Europe will act as a consulting board on the industrial consequences of the project. France-Telecom/CNET, Philips through its links with the University of Leiden and the members of the Industrial Steering Committee will have a priority in following up the results of the project by developing specific industrial products.
The quantum nature of light sets a limit to the reliability of optical signal generation and processing if standard light sources and devices are used. An appropriate engineering of the quantum noise allows the minimisation of its effect on an information-carrying signal. Moreover, making full use of the quantum properties of light permits the design of novel optical devices.
Funding SchemeCSC - Cost-sharing contracts
91198 Gif Sur Yvette
WR14 3PS Malvern
91131 Issy-les- Moulineaux