CORDIS - EU research results

UNconventional Integrated quantum nanophotonic sources From spontaneous sYmmetry breaking

Project description

Unconventional sources of single photons

Quantum emitters are crucial components in next-generation quantum information technology, such as quantum computing and communications. Quantum sources that can produce single photons are the crux of such technologies. Most of them create a photon deterministically when triggered by a light source or electrical pulse, but the drawbacks of this process are complex fabrication technology and operation at low temperatures. Funded by the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions programme, the UNIFY project will explore alternative quantum sources, which can produce strong photon antibunching – meaning they can generate one photon at a time and suppress multi-photon states. To this end, researchers will produce quantum emitters in III–V semiconductors grown on silicon and will explore the strong quantum correlations between the emitters and the nonlinear optical cavities.


The integration of reliable quantum sources on a photonic microchip is at heart of intense research in today quantum photonics. Our project is devoted to the realization of quantum correlations such as photon entanglement based on nonlinear interactions in semiconductor coupled nanocavities, ultimately with few photons. Unlike conventional semiconductor quantum sources that require deterministic coupling of emitters into small cavities and/or operation at ultralow temperatures, UNIFY will achieve unconventional sources with quantum correlations using Indium Phosphide-based bulk or quantum well photonic crystal cavities on Silicon, on-chip integrable and operating at room temperature in the telecommunication band. UNIFY relies on a recent theoretical prediction: photon entanglement from nonlinear optical transitions –i.e. bifurcations– in coupled cavity systems, such as spontaneous symmetry breaking (SSB). SSB-induced quantum correlations will be sought with either weak nonlinearities per photon and strong fields (continuous variable), or relatively large nonlinearities per photon in a few photon regime. UNIFY proposes to tackle them using a twofold strategy: passive (coherent excitation), and active (nanolaser) experimental configurations. For the latter, cavities with large spontaneous emission factor (β) will be realized to decrease the saturation photon number. The combination of nanocavities with tunable inter-cavity evanescent coupling, high-quality factors, ultra-small mode volumes, efficient input/output light coupling and high β-factors will ultimately lower the intracavity photon number below ~10. Such a platform is compatible with device integration on a photonic microchip, small footprint and scalability. We thus propose to unify an outstanding early career researcher with experience on coherent excitation SSB and world leaders in nanophotonics and quantum optics in order to enable a new generation of unconventional quantum photonic nanosources.


Net EU contribution
€ 184 707,84
75794 Paris

See on map

Ile-de-France Ile-de-France Paris
Activity type
Research Organisations
Total cost
€ 184 707,84