Fully integrated quantum photonic circuit with an electrically driven light source

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Photonic quantum technologies allow quantum phenomena to be exploited in applications such as quantum cryptography, quantum simulation and quantum computation. A key requirement for practical devices is the scalable integration of single-photon sources, detectors and linear optical elements on a common platform. Nanophotonic circuits enable the realization of complex linear optical systems, while non-classical light can be measured with waveguide-integrated detectors. However, reproducible single-photon sources with high brightness and compatibility with photonic devices remain elusive for fully integrated systems. Here, we report the observation of antibunching in the light emitted from an electrically driven carbon nanotube embedded within a photonic quantum circuit. Non-classical light generated on chip is recorded under cryogenic conditions with waveguide-integrated superconducting single-photon detectors, without requiring optical filtering. Because exclusively scalable fabrication and deposition methods are used, our results establish carbon nanotubes as promising nanoscale single-photon emitters for hybrid quantum photonic devices.

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Figure 1: Integrated circuit design.
Figure 2: Spectral characterization of the sc-SWCNT emitter.
Figure 3: Observation of antibunching in electrically driven sc-SWCNTs.
Figure 4: Device count rate and SWCNT efficiency.


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W.H.P.P. and S.K. acknowledge support by Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG) grants PE 1832/1-1 and the Helmholtz Society through grant HIRG-0005, as well as support by the DFG and the State of Baden-Württemberg through the DFG Center for Functional Nanostructures (CFN). R.K. and F.P. acknowledge funding by the Volkswagen Foundation. M.K., F.H. and R.K. acknowledge support by the Helmholtz Society through programme Science and Technology of Nanosystems (STN) and by the Karlsruhe Nano Micro Facility (KNMF). V.K., A.K., G.G. acknowledge financial support from the Russian Foundation for Basic Research (RFBR) grant no. 15-52-10044 and state contract no. 14.B25.31.0007. The authors thank S. Diewald, S. Kühn and S. Dehm for help with device fabrication, R. Fechner for help with initial device characterization, B. Voronov for help with NbN thin-film deposition as well as A. Riaz for assistance with the spectral characterization of SWCNTs.

Author information

W.H.P.P. and R.K. conceived the experiments. S.K. and F.P. fabricated the devices. K.S. and C.R. performed the fitting simulations. S.K. and F.P. performed the measurements with the help of S.F., O.K., P.R., A.V. and V.K. V.K. deposited the superconducting thin films with the help of A.K. and G.G. F.H. and M.M.K. prepared the nanotube suspensions. All authors analysed the data and contributed to writing the manuscript.

Correspondence to Carsten Rockstuhl or Ralph Krupke or Wolfram H. P. Pernice.

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Khasminskaya, S., Pyatkov, F., Słowik, K. et al. Fully integrated quantum photonic circuit with an electrically driven light source. Nature Photon 10, 727–732 (2016) doi:10.1038/nphoton.2016.178

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