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Photonic Integrated Compound Quantum Encoding

Final Report Summary - PICQUE (Photonic Integrated Compound Quantum Encoding)

Photonic Integrated Compound Quantum Encoding-PICQUE is a Marie Curie Initial Training Network involving 10 full partners, both academic and industrial, and 11 associated partners from 8 different European and non-European countries, and aimed at forming the new generation of quantum information scientists. PICQUE is at the core of European technological innovation.

PICQUE project has achieved all the objectives set in the Annex I in terms of recruitment, research, training, outreach and visibility. All activities planned have been realized as planned, with minor changes.
12 Early Stage Researcher and 7 Experienced Researcher positions were trained within the PICQUE Marie Curie Initial Training Network. A total of 472 PMs (390 ESR PMs + 82 ER PMs) have been implemented during the project against a total planned PMs of 480 PMs (396 ESR PMs + 84 ER PMs) for the whole project duration. These reductions did not affect the overall PICQUE plan.

The training programme of PICQUE acted at three different levels.

PICQUE ESRs attended a PhD programme at the corresponding host institution.

ESRs and ERs have been seconded at least once during the fellowship at another partner site or to the private sector, in particular during the second half of the project.

PICQUE organized different types of training events with the participation of the PICQUE fellows, PICQUE supervisors and a total of 373 researchers from outside the network (total days= 1438):

- 3 SCIENTIFIC SCHOOLS devoted to scientific topics:
1) First PICQUE scientific school in integrated photonic manipulation organized in Varenna by the PICQUE partner CNR (M9);
2) Second PICQUE Scientific School in integrated quantum photonics applications: from simulation to sensing organized in Rome by the PICQUE partner UNIROMA1 (M23);
3) Third PICQUE Scientific School Architectures for Quantum Photonic Circuits took place organized in Nice by the PICQUE partner CNRS (M41).

1) Training school in complementary skills in European projects organized in Varenna by the PICQUE associated partner Politecnico di Milano (M9);
2) Training school in complementary skills in Enterpreuneurship organized in Rome by the PICQUE associated partner Confindustria (M14);
3) Training school in complementary skills in Science Communication organized in Trieste by the PICQUE associated partner International School for Advanced Studies (SISSA) (M18)
4) Second training school in complementary skills in Science Communication organized in Trieste by the PICQUE Associated partner SISSA (M30).

1) PICQUE Integrated Quantum Photonics Workshop organized in Oxford by the PICQUE partner UOXF (M17);
2) Young Scientist Conference organized in Bristol by the PICQUE partner UOB (M32);
3) Final Conference Integrated Quantum Photonics organized in Rome by the PICQUE partner UNIROMA1 (M49).

As a feedback procedure to continuously evaluate the quality of the training offered, at the end of each PICQUE training event an anonymous questionnaire has been distributed to PICQUE fellows and to participants from outside the network, if any. A report based on the results of the questionnaires is drafted on each event and discussed within the Steering Committee and Supervisory Board meetings.

The 32% (6/19) of the recruited PICQUE fellows are women, against a declared target of 40%. This is a very good result considering that the presence of males in the field is strongly prevalent. Female applicants have been strongly encouraged to apply to the PICQUE positions.

26 peer-reviewed publications authored by PICQUE fellows have been published on high impact journals and many others are in progress. Thank to its dissemination activity and to the many PICQUE events opened to researchers from outside the network, PICQUE activities have been highly recognized in the scientific community and has ended to become a “brand”. PICQUE is playing a fundamental role in the establishment of an Integrated Quantum Photonics community in Europe.

In terms of research activities, PICQUE achieved the following main results:
- Integrated sources of quantum light states. PICQUE worked on the design and fabrication of several quantum light sources. Different platforms were adopted: semiconductor quantum dots in photonic crystal waveguides, non-linear crystal with waveguides fabricated via femtosecond laser-writing, Lithium-Niobite waveguides.

- Integrated manipulation: PICQUE addressed the capability to realize reconfigurable quantum circuits, to manipulate polarization on chip, to developed integrated circuits suitable for cryogenic operation.

- Integrated single-photon detectors: the work has focused on the integration of superconducting detectors with quantum photonic circuits in two different platforms, Si and GaAs.

- Interfaces between integrated photonic devices: the work has focused on the interconnection between different integrated platforms and the interconnection between fibers and chips.

- Integrated photonic for quantum information science. Different experiments on quantum simulation, foundations of quantum mechanics, quantum communication and computing, have been performed via integrated quantum photonics.

The ambition of PICQUE is to foster the new generations of quantum technologies, by training the new generation of quantum photonics scientists, who will be in need of a wider range of expertise, including material sciences, and a deeper understanding of the challenges for implementations beyond usual proofs of principle in the laboratory. The adoption of advanced technical solutions for quantum photonics, such as integrated structures, is a recent development of the field, which has so far happened by virtue of the initiative of individual groups.

Website address:

Contacts details:
PICQUE Coordinator: Prof. Fabio Sciarrino
PICQUE Project Manager: Giuliana Pensa
Dipartimento di Fisica, Sapienza Università di Roma