On-Chip Laser-Written Photonic Circuits for Classical and Quantum Applications

With the advent of quantum mechanics, the 20th century has witnessed one of the most striking conceptual revolutions in the history of science. This unprecedented paradigm shift has resulted in the so-called "first quantum revolution" which gave birth to the first generation of devices relying on the principles of quantum mechanics such as lasers, transistors, solid state imaging or MRI, to name but a few. Recent conceptual and technological advances have set the stage for a second quantum revolution with unprecedented impact expected in the fields of sensing, imaging, telecommunications, simulations, cryptography and computing. In the context of quantum photonics, the development of devices pertaining to the second quantum revolution hinges on our ability to generate, manipulate, and measure quantum states comprising multi-photon states.

In this proposal, we propose a new approach to manufacture waveguide-based optical structures endowed with tunable propagation constants and coupling coefficients. While traditional waveguides produced by femtosecond laser direct writing are conventionally embedded into the bulk of a fused silica substrate, using few-cycle laser pulses enables generating optical waveguides on the surface of the chip, providing direct access to the core of the waveguide structure. In order to fabricate a programmable device with a substantial dynamic range and switching times on the ns to the ps timescales, the surface waveguides will be coated with an electro-optic polymer.

The ability to dynamically tune the losses of such integrated optics structures constitutes a unique advantage to implement non-Hermitian photonic systems and exploit so-called exceptional points (a type of singularity) for producing ultrasensitive measurements. With regard to the foreseeable importance of quantum sensing in a near future, applications of re-programmable optical quantum chips in the field of quantum sensing will be investigated.

Principal investigators
Busch, Kurt Prof. Dr. rer. nat. (Details) (Theoretical Physics / Theoretical Optics)

Forschungsverbund e.V.

Duration of project
Start date: 06/2020
End date: 05/2024

Research Areas
Optics, Quantum Optics, Atoms, Molecules, Plasmas

Last updated on 2022-07-09 at 17:08