Quantum photonics utilizes the intriguing quantum characteristics of photons for information processing. Fast manipulation and transformation of photonic quantum states at a high speed underlie crucially the capability and capacity of quantum communication and computing. However, to date, it remains an open challenge to do so, which becomes a bottleneck for the speedup of photonic quantum information processing. On the other hand, current integrated quantum photonic circuits rely seriously on external off-chip laser sources for proper operation, which becomes a major obstacle limiting the integration and miniaturization of quantum photonic circuits which in turn limits the degree of functional complexity they can offer. The proposed research aims to address these challenges. With the synergetic research effort of our team, we propose to focus on innovative circuit- and system-level engineering to build large-scale fully-integrated quantum photonic circuit systems that can be flexibly reconfigured and modulated at high speed, aiming to achieve novel quantum functionalities with unprecedented functional complexity inaccessible to other means. The proposed research covers all three thrusts of the EQuIP program. With our proposed research, we envision an entirely transformative avenue towards integrated quantum photonics that may ultimately revolutionize the state of the art of communication and information processing, advancing its maturity level towards practical implementation that would have significant impact on industrial sectors. The proposed research offers comprehensive training in the diverse interdisciplinary areas of quantum and integrated photonics, high-speed RF circuitry, electronic circuit design, lasers, and signal processing, to prepare workforces for future quantum engineering industry. It will also result in promoting the interest and participation of K-12 students and broadening the participations from underrepresented groups, through outreach programs.
The proposed research aims to explore and develop high-speed, flexibly reconfigurable, fully integrated quantum photonic circuits that offer unprecedented capability of manipulating, translating, and transducing photonic quantum states, encoding/decoding and processing quantum information. To this end, we have assembled a multidisciplinary team of leading experts with strong expertise and extensive experience in quantum photonics, nanophotonics, optoelectronic integration, high-speed RF circuitry, electronic IC design, semiconductor lasers, hybrid optoelectronic integration, to propose a fundamental research effort directed at the realization of scalable high-speed hybrid quantum photonic circuit systems that perform significantly beyond the reach of single individual components. The proposed research will integrate elegantly the outstanding and unique properties of underlying material platforms with innovative circuit and system design and engineering and laser-chip integration to realize very high speed modulation, tuning, and reconfiguration of large-scale integrated quantum photonic circuits that would enable novel quantum photonic functionalities with unprecedented functional complexity and capability. The preliminary results show great promise to achieve these goals. The strong expertise and extensive experiences of our team position us uniquely for the proposed research project.
This award reflects NSF's statutory mission and has been deemed worthy of support through evaluation using the Foundation's intellectual merit and broader impacts review criteria.