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Programmable linear quantum networks with a multimode fibre


Reconfigurable quantum circuits are fundamental building blocks for the implementation of scalable quantum technologies. Their implementation has been pursued in linear optics through the engineering of sophisticated interferometers1,2,3. Although such optical networks have been successful in demonstrating the control of small-scale quantum circuits, scaling up to larger dimensions poses significant challenges4,5. Here, we demonstrate a potentially scalable route towards reconfigurable optical networks based on the use of a multimode fibre and advanced wavefront shaping techniques. We program networks involving spatial and polarization modes of the fibre and experimentally validate the accuracy and robustness of our approach using two-photon quantum states. In particular, we illustrate the reconfigurability of our platform by emulating a tunable coherent absorption experiment6. By demonstrating reliable reprogrammable linear transformations, with the prospect to scale, our results highlight the potential of complex media driven by wavefront shaping for quantum information processing.

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Fig. 1: MMF-based programmable linear optical network.
Fig. 2: Control of two-photon interference among spatial-polarization degrees of freedom.
Fig. 3: Controlled coherent absorption.
Fig. 4: Intensity image of a high-dimensional linear optical network on the EMCCD.

Data availability

The data that support the plots within this paper and other findings of this study are available from the corresponding author upon reasonable request.

Code availability

The codes for data analysis and simulation that support the plots within this paper and other findings of this study are available from the corresponding author upon reasonable request.


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We thank C. Moretti for technical support. The work is supported by the European Research Council (ERC) (724473). S.G. is a member of the Institut Universitaire de France (IUF). M.P. is supported by the European Commission through the H2020 Collaborative project ‘Testing the large-scale limit of quantum mechanics’ (TEQ, grant no. 766900), the Science Foundation Ireland–Department for Economy Investigator Programme ‘Quantum control of nanostructures for quantum networking’ (QuNaNet, grant no. 15/IA/2864), the Leverhulme Trust through the Research Project Grant ‘Ultracold quantum thermo-machine’ (UltraQuTe, grant no. RGP-2018-266), MSCA co-funding of regional, national and international programmes (grant no. 754507) and COST Action CA15220 ‘Quantum technologies in space (QTSpace)’. L.I. acknowledges partial support from Fondazione Angelo Della Riccia. T.J. was supported by a Human Frontier Science Program Cross-Disciplinary Fellowship (LT000345/2016-C), and ERC (758752). S.L. acknowledges support from a Franco-Thai Scholarship.

Author information




S.L., T.J. and H.D. carried out the experiment and analysis of the data. S.L. and L.I. performed numerical simulations and L.I., A.F. and M.P. provided a theoretical analysis of the results. S.L. proposed the coherent absorption experiment. S.G. proposed the original idea and supervised the project. All authors discussed the implementation, the experimental data and the results. All authors contributed to writing the manuscript.

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Correspondence to Sylvain Gigan.

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Supplementary Sections 1–4.

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Leedumrongwatthanakun, S., Innocenti, L., Defienne, H. et al. Programmable linear quantum networks with a multimode fibre. Nat. Photonics 14, 139–142 (2020).

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