Integrated Quantum Photonics: from modular to monolithic integration

Research output: ThesisDissertation (TU Delft)

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In the past decades quantum optics has been at the forefront of quantum innovative technologies. For practical applications, scalable platforms for implementation of quantum optical circuits are vital. This thesis presents two new platforms for scalable implementation of quantum optical circuits, namely, modular approach and monolithic integration. Here, we take the first steps towards the integration of three main elements of every quantum optics circuits: Single-photon emitters, single-photon detectors, and quantum logics. Until now, most quantum optical circuits used separate platforms for single-photon generation and detection. The main challenge in the integration of these technologies, which have different requirements, has slowed down the research in the field. Here, we integrate sources and detectors by first fabricating the devices on their own platform and then transferring and combining them together. Plasma enhanced chemical vapor deposition of silicon nitride followed by etching optical waveguides connect these elements. Removing the Poissonian optical excitation field from the quantum circuit is necessary for integration. Classical optical excitation can be avoided if the sources are electrically pumped. However, fabrication of high-quality electrically pumped sources, suitable for integration, has been limited. The experiments described in chapter 4 are our first step towards addressing the mentioned problem. Defect-free nanowires are grown on <100> direction and their optoelectronic performance are characterized. Nanowire quantum dots, thanks to their waveguiding, purity, coherence and their potentials for deterministic integration with other optical circuits, are promising single-photon sources for on-chip quantum optics. However, precise control of the emission energy of the quantum dots by growth has not become possible yet. Chapter 5 describes a method for on-chip tuning of emission energy of nanowire quantum dots using strain fields. We show the emission energy of independent nanowire quantum dots can be brought into degeneracy without affecting their single-photon emission properties. The quantum optical components have to be routed and connected together to form functional circuits. On a chip, this is usually carried out using optical waveguides. Moreover, manipulation of single photons has to be done in a scalable fashion. Again optical waveguides and ring resonators are very good candidates for this task. Therefore, understanding the behavior of these circuits such as their losses, polarization dependence, and temperature behavior is important. The experiment described in chapter 6 studies the behavior of plasma enhanced silicon nitride waveguides in cryogenic temperatures. We concluded in this chapter that due to weak thermo-optic sensitivity of silicon nitride at cryogenic temperatures, the available thermal budget on the system should be carefully considered. An important step in achieving a scalable platform for quantum optical circuits is deterministic and efficient integration of single-photon sources. In chapter 7, we demonstrate successful integration of III-V nanowire quantum dots with silicon nitride waveguides. The nanowires are deterministically selected and transferred from the original growth chip to the new substrate where they are integrated with low-loss silicon nitride waveguides. Our measurements show that the integrated sources preserve their high quality emission properties. In chapter 8, we describe an alternative approach: amodular method for scalable quantum optics. The proposed technique is based on coupling the single-photon from sources into optical fibers where the photons can be processed and then fed into the single-photon detectors. This approach has high flexibility and is easier to implement but as described in the chapter, at the moment, losses in the interfaces between optical fibers and single-photon sources are a major limiting factor. We conclude the thesis with some possible future directions and exciting new results on integration of single-photon detectors with sources and waveguides. Finally, primary results on on-chip single-photon filtering and removal of the optical excitation field are demonstrated.
Original languageEnglish
  • van der Zant, H.S.J., Supervisor
  • Zwiller, Val, Supervisor
Award date30 Sep 2016
Print ISBNs978-90-8593-271-0
Publication statusPublished - 15 Sep 2016

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