Letter | Published:

On-chip generation of high-dimensional entangled quantum states and their coherent control

Nature volume 546, pages 622626 (29 June 2017) | Download Citation


Optical quantum states based on entangled photons are essential for solving questions in fundamental physics and are at the heart of quantum information science1. Specifically, the realization of high-dimensional states (D-level quantum systems, that is, qudits, with D > 2) and their control are necessary for fundamental investigations of quantum mechanics2, for increasing the sensitivity of quantum imaging schemes3, for improving the robustness and key rate of quantum communication protocols4, for enabling a richer variety of quantum simulations5, and for achieving more efficient and error-tolerant quantum computation6. Integrated photonics has recently become a leading platform for the compact, cost-efficient, and stable generation and processing of non-classical optical states7. However, so far, integrated entangled quantum sources have been limited to qubits (D = 2)8,9,10,11. Here we demonstrate on-chip generation of entangled qudit states, where the photons are created in a coherent superposition of multiple high-purity frequency modes. In particular, we confirm the realization of a quantum system with at least one hundred dimensions, formed by two entangled qudits with D = 10. Furthermore, using state-of-the-art, yet off-the-shelf telecommunications components, we introduce a coherent manipulation platform with which to control frequency-entangled states, capable of performing deterministic high-dimensional gate operations. We validate this platform by measuring Bell inequality violations and performing quantum state tomography. Our work enables the generation and processing of high-dimensional quantum states in a single spatial mode.

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This work was supported by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) through the Steacie, Strategic, Discovery and Acceleration Grants Schemes, by the MESI PSR-SIIRI Initiative in Quebec, by the Canada Research Chair Program and by the Australian Research Council Discovery Projects scheme (DP150104327). C.R. and P.R. acknowledge the support of NSERC Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarships. M.K. acknowledges funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation programme under the Marie Sklodowska-Curie grant agreement number 656607. S.T.C. acknowledges support from the CityU APRC programme number 9610356. B.E.L. acknowledges support from the Strategic Priority Research Program of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (grant number XDB24030300). B.W. acknowledges support from the People Programme (Marie Curie Actions) of the European Union’s FP7 Programme under REA grant agreement INCIPIT (PIOF-GA-2013-625466). L.C. acknowledges support from the People Programme (Marie Curie Actions) of the European Union’s FP7 Programme under REA Grant Agreement number 627478 (THREEPLE). R.M. acknowledges additional support by the Government of the Russian Federation through the ITMO Fellowship and Professorship Program (grant 074-U 01) and from the 1000 Talents Sichuan Program. We thank R. Helsten and M. Islam for technical insights; A. Tavares, T. Hansson and A. Bruhacs for discussions; T. A. Denidni and S. O. Tatu for lending us some of the required experimental equipment; P. Kung from QPS Photronics for help and the use of processing equipment; as well as Quantum Opus and N. Bertone of OptoElectronics Components for their support and for providing us with state-of-the-art photon detection equipment.

Author information

Author notes

    • Michael Kues
    •  & Christian Reimer

    These authors contributed equally to this work.


  1. Institut National de la Recherche Scientifique - Centre Énergie, Matériaux et Télécommunications (INRS-EMT) 1650 Boulevard Lionel-Boulet, Varennes, Québec J3X 1S2, Canada

    • Michael Kues
    • , Christian Reimer
    • , Piotr Roztocki
    • , Luis Romero Cortés
    • , Stefania Sciara
    • , Benjamin Wetzel
    • , Yanbing Zhang
    • , José Azaña
    •  & Roberto Morandotti
  2. School of Engineering, University of Glasgow, Rankine Building, Oakfield Avenue, Glasgow G12 8LT, UK

    • Michael Kues
  3. Department of Energy, Information Engineering and Mathematical Models, University of Palermo, Palermo, Italy

    • Stefania Sciara
    •  & Alfonso Cino
  4. School of Mathematical and Physical Sciences, University of Sussex, Falmer, Brighton BN1 9RH, UK

    • Benjamin Wetzel
  5. Department of Physics and Material Science, City University of Hong Kong, Tat Chee Avenue, Hong Kong, China

    • Sai T. Chu
  6. State Key Laboratory of Transient Optics and Photonics, Xi’an Institute of Optics and Precision Mechanics, Chinese Academy of Science, Xi’an, China

    • Brent E. Little
  7. Centre for Micro Photonics, Swinburne University of Technology, Hawthorn, Victoria 3122, Australia

    • David J. Moss
  8. Institute of Photonics, Department of Physics, University of Strathclyde, Glasgow G1 1RD, UK

    • Lucia Caspani
  9. Institute of Photonics and Quantum Sciences, Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh EH14 4AS, UK

    • Lucia Caspani
  10. Institute of Fundamental and Frontier Sciences, University of Electronic Science and Technology of China, Chengdu 610054, China

    • Roberto Morandotti
  11. National Research University of Information Technologies, Mechanics and Optics, St Petersburg, Russia

    • Roberto Morandotti


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C.R. and M.K. developed the idea and contributed equally. C.R., M.K., P.R., L.R.C., B.W. and Y.Z. designed the experiment, performed the measurements and analysed the experimental results. S.S. and L.C. led the theoretical analysis. B.E.L. and S.T.C. designed and fabricated the integrated device. A.C. and D.J.M. participated in scientific discussions. R.M. and J.A. supervised and managed the project. All authors contributed to the writing of the manuscript.

Competing interests

The authors declare no competing financial interests.

Corresponding authors

Correspondence to Michael Kues or Roberto Morandotti.

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