Quantum Nano-Photonic Devices

Updated October 2018

Our group develops quantum nano-photonic devices based on luminescent centers in solids - also known as optical defects, or artificial atoms. Currently we mainly work with rare-earths doped in crystals, optical defects in silicon carbide, and optical defects in 2D materials.

Rare-earth-doped materials

Rare earth ions (Lanthanides) doped in crystals have excellent optical (millisecond for Erbium in yttrium orthosilicate or YSO) and electron/nuclear spin coherence (up to 6 hours demonstrated in europium doped YSO). Rare-earth doped materials are quite commonly used in optics, like in solid state and fiber lasers, and more recently in optical quantum memories. We are developing nano-photonic devices in rare-earth doped crystals that will lead to highly efficient optical quantum memories, highly coherent optical quantum bits, and devices for efficient quantum conversion between optical photons and microwave photons. These technologies will be used in future optical quantum networks for distributing entanglement over long distances. Applications include for secure communications, interconnecting and parallelizing future quantum computers, and tests of fundamental physics.

Optical quantum memories can be implementred with ensemble of rare-earth ions doped in various materials. Photons can be stored directly into optical transitions using atomic frequency comb protocols or controlled reversible inhomogeneous broadening, with storge times ultimately limited by the optical coherence time. Longer memory times can be achieved by transferring the coherence onto a superposition of electron spin or nuclear spin states (spin-wave).

Our group works on on-chip optical quantum memories based on rare-earth-doped crystals. To achieve high efficiencies on a chip it is important to embed the rare-earth atoms in nano-photonic resonators that enhance the coupling between photons and small ensemnble of atoms. The materials that we use are based on neodymium and erbium. We already demonstrated memories based on the atomic frequency comb protocol. The next step is to extend the memory time by pursuing spin-wave protocols.

Quantum transduction between microwave (~5GHz) photons and optical photons will enable quantum communications between future superconducting quantum computers. Rare-earth ions exhibit transitions both in the optical domain and in microwave domain, and thus can serve as a quantum transduction medium. To enable efficienct transduction, the rare-earths must be coupled to both optical and microwave resonators. We develop optical to mmicrowave quantum transductors based on rare-earths (170 Er and 171 Yb) ocoupled to nano-photonic and superconducting microwave resonators. The experiments are done in dilution refrigerators.

Single optically addressable quantum bits based on rare-earths are currently being developed in our group. By embedding the rare-earths in nano-photonic cavities, their emission rates become fast and close to transfrom limited. We did initial demonstrations with Nd and are currently focusing on the 171 isotope of Yb.

Selected publications

  1. Jonathan M. Kindem, John G. Bartholomew, Philip J. T. Woodburn, Tian Zhong, Ioana Craiciu, Rufus L. Cone, Charles W. Thiel, Andrei Faraon, Characterization of 171Yb3+:YVO4 for photonic quantum technologies, Physical Review B , 98, 024404, 2018, ArXiv Version
  2. Tian Zhong, Jonathan M. Kindem, John G. Bartholomew, Jake Rochman, Ioana Craiciu, Varun Verma, Sae Woo Nam, Francesco Marsili, Matthew D. Shaw, Andrew D. Beyer, Andrei Faraon, Optically addressing single rare-earth ions in a nanophotonic cavity, ArXiv
  3. John G. Bartholomew, Tian Zhong, Jonathan M. Kindem, Raymond Lopez-Rios, Jake Rochman, Ioana Craiciu, Evan Miyazono, Andrei Faraon, Controlling rare-earth ions in a nanophotonic resonator using the ac Stark shift, Physical Review A , 97, 063854, 2018, ArXiv Version
  4. Tian Zhong, Jonathan M. Kindem, John G. Bartholomew, Jake Rochman, Ioana Craiciu, Evan Miyazono, Marco Bettinelli, Enrico Cavalli, Varun Verma, Sae Woo Nam, Francesco Marsili, Matthew D. Shaw, Andrew D. Beyer, Andrei Faraon, Nanophotonic rare-earth quantum memory with optically controlled retrieval (free full text), Science, Vol. 357, Issue 6358, pp. 1392-1395 (2017), [DOI: 10.1126/science.aan5959]. See highlights in IEEE Spectrum, Physics Word, Phys.org, WIRED UK, Science News, Vice, Caltech News, Nature Research Highlights, Perspective Article in Science
  5. Evan Miyazono, Ioana Craiciu, Amir Arbabi, Tian Zhong, Andrei Faraon, Coupling erbium dopants in yttrium orthosilicate to silicon photonic resonators and waveguides, Optics Express Vol. 25, Issue 3, pp. 2863-2871 (2017), [https://doi.org/10.1364/OE.25.002863]
  6. Tian Zhong, Jonathan M. Kindem, Jake Rochman, Andrei Faraon, Interfacing broadband photonic qubits to on-chip cavity-protected rare-earth ensembles, Nature Communications, 8, Article number: 14107 (2017), [DOI: 10.1038/ncomms14107], (arXiv:1604.00143)
  7. Evan Miyazono, Tian Zhong, Ioana Craiciu, Jonathan M Kindem, Andrei Faraon, Coupling of erbium dopants to yttrium orthosilicate photonic crystal cavities for on-chip optical quantum memories, Applied Physics Letters 108, 011111 (2016), [doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1063/1.4939651], arXiv:1512.07389
  8. Tian Zhong, Jonathan M. Kindem, Evan Miyazono, Andrei Faraon, Nanophotonic coherent light-matter interfaces based on rare-earth-doped crystals, Nature Communications 6, Article number: 8206, (2015),[], ArXiv , arXiv:1507.00977 [quant-ph]

Silicon Carbide

Silicon carbide is a very important material for solid state quantum engineering because it contains multiple optically-addressable quantum defects with long coherence time. We are developing on-chip nano-photonic devices coupled to defects in silicon carbide. The applications are similar as for rare-earth-doped materials.

2D Materials

In the past few years, many color centers have been identified in 2D materials like transition metal dichalcogenides or boron nitride. We are working with the group of Prof. Stevan Nadj-Perge and Prof. Marco Bernardi to indetify the structure of these defects, and correlate this structure with the optical properties. The final goal is to indentify defects that are suitable for quantum networks.