Nicholas C. Harris, Darius Bunandar, Mihir Pant, Greg R. Steinbrecher, Jacob Mower, Mihika Prabhu, Tom Baehr-Jones, Michael Hochberg, Dirk Englund
September 3, 2016
Quantum information science offers inherently more powerful methods for communication, computation, and precision measurement that take advantage of quantum superposition and entanglement. In recent years, theoretical and experimental advances in quantum computing and simulation with photons have spurred great interest in developing large photonic entangled states that challenge today’s classical computers. As experiments have increased in complexity, there has been an increasing need to transition bulk optics experiments to integrated photonics platforms to control more spatial modes with higher fidelity and phase stability. The silicon-on-insulator (SOI) nanophotonics platform offers new possibilities for quantum optics, including the integration of bright, nonclassical light sources, based on the large third-order nonlinearity (χ (3) ) of silicon, alongside quantum state manipulation circuits with thousands of optical elements, all on a single phase-stable chip. How large do these photonic systems need to be? Recent theoretical work on Boson Sampling suggests that even the problem of sampling from e30 identical photons, having passed through an interferometer of hundreds of modes, becomes challenging for classical computers. While experiments of this size are still challenging, the SOI platform has the required component density to enable low-loss and programmable interferometers for manipulating hundreds of spatial modes. Here, we discuss the SOI nanophotonics platform for quantum photonic circuits with hundreds-to-thousands of optical elements and the associated challenges. We compare SOI to competing technologies in terms of requirements for quantum optical systems. We review recent results on large-scale quantum state evolution circuits and strategies for realizing high-fidelity heralded gates with imperfect, practical systems. Next, we review recent results on silicon photonics-based photon-pair sources and device architectures, and we discuss a path towards large-scale source integration. Finally, we review monolithic integration strategies for single-photon detectors and their essential role in on-chip feed forward operations.