Skip to main content

Quantum Photonic Engineering

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - QPE (Quantum Photonic Engineering)

Reporting period: 2015-05-01 to 2016-10-31

By harnessing the unique properties of quantum mechanics (superposition and entanglement) to encode, transmit and process information, quantum information science offers significant opportunities to revolutionise information and communication technologies. The far-reaching goal of this project is to build quantum technology demonstrators that can outperform conventional technologies in communications and computation. Recent developments in chip-scale integrated quantum photonic circuits have radically changed the way in which quantum optic experiments are performed, and provides a means to deliver complex and compact quantum photonic technologies for applications in quantum communications, sensing, and computation. Silicon photonics is a promising material system for the delivery of a fully integrated and large-scale quantum photonic technology platform, where all key components could be monolithically integrated into single quantum devices.

For quantum information technologies (QITs) to have as big an impact on society as anticipated, a practical and scalable approach is needed. Integrated quantum photonics is one approach which aims to address these challenges. This research programme focuses on the engineering approach to QITs and draws upon the rapidly growing field of silicon photonics. We are developing a silicon-based quantum technology platform where single-photon sources, circuits and detectors will be integrated into miniature microchip circuits containing thousands of discrete components, enabling breakthroughs in quantum communications and computation, and developing a scalable approach to quantum technologies.

The prime focus of this work is to overcome the hard engineering challenges which will allow the breakthroughs in Physics to be realised.
Work in this period has focused on the development of silicon photonic circuits and the state of the art components within each circuit.

Application such as quantum key distribution for secure quantum communications are also being developed and recent work has focussed on the commercial application of these devices.
The potential impact of the technologies being developed in this project are wide ranging and disruptive. Overcoming the engineering challenges in this work will allow the development of future quantum technologies which will have impact on society, the environment, health and technology. Quantum computers for example will overcome many challenges such as big data, machine learning and artificial intelligence.

There are also applications for this technology in the field of classical photonics (for telecommunications hardware for example) and the growing and commercially significant area of optical interconnects.

Progress to date has been good, the PI has recruited a full team of students and researchers to work on the project with progress in all work packages.
Quantum Photonic Chip
Silicon Based QKD