4H-silicon-carbide-on-insulator for integrated quantum and nonlinear photonics


Optical quantum information processing will require highly efficient photonic circuits to connect quantum nodes on-chip and across long distances. This entails the efficient integration of optically addressable qubits into photonic circuits, as well as quantum frequency conversion to the telecommunications band. 4H-silicon carbide (4H-SiC) offers unique potential for on-chip quantum photonics, as it hosts a variety of promising colour centres and has a strong second-order optical nonlinearity. Here, we demonstrate within a single, monolithic platform the strong enhancement of emission from a colour centre and efficient optical frequency conversion. We develop a fabrication process for thin films of 4H-SiC, which are compatible with industry-standard, CMOS nanofabrication. This work provides a viable route towards industry-compatible, scalable colour-centre-based quantum technologies, including the monolithic generation and frequency conversion of quantum light on-chip.

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Fig. 1: Colour centres and photonics in 4H-SiCOI.
Fig. 2: Light–matter interaction of a single colour centre with a nanophotonic resonator.
Fig. 3: Efficient second-order frequency conversion in microring resonators.
Fig. 4: A conceptual diagram showing two applications that can be readily implemented with the 4H-SiCOI architecture.

Data availability

All data relevant to the current study are available from the corresponding author on request.


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We thank S. Economou, W. Dong and R. Nagy for useful discussions. This research is funded in part by the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation through grant no. GBMF 4743, the US Department of Energy, Office of Science, under award no. DE-SC0019174, and the National Science Foundation under grant number NSF/EFRI-1741660. Part of this work was performed at the Stanford Nanofabrication Facility (SNF) and the Stanford Nano Shared Facilities (SNSF), supported by the National Science Foundation under award no. ECCS-1542152. D.M.L. acknowledges support from the Fong Stanford Graduate Fellowship (SGF) and the National Defense Science and Engineering Graduate Fellowship. C.D. acknowledges support from the Andreas Bechtolsheim SGF and the Microsoft Research PhD Fellowship. M.A.G. acknowledges support from the William R. Hewlett SGF and the NSF Graduate Research Fellowship, and K.Y.Y. from the Nano- and Quantum Science and Engineering Postdoctoral Fellowship. S.D.M. acknowledges support from the Soheil and Susan Saadat Graduate Fellowship. M.R. acknowledges support from the Nano- and Quantum Science and Engineering Postdoctoral Fellowship. G.H.A. acknowledges support from the STMicroelectronics SGF and Kwanjeong Educational Foundation Fellowship. R.T. acknowledges funding from Kailath SGF.

Author information

D.M.L., C.D., M.A.G. and J.V. conceived the experiment. D.M.L. and C.D. developed the material platform and the fabrication techniques. C.D., D.M.L., S.D.M., G.H.A. and S.S. conducted the quantum experiments. M.A.G., D.M.L., K.Y.Y. and C.D. performed nonlinear experiments. R.T., D.M.L. and M.R. performed cavity design and analysis. D.V. performed inverse design simulations. J.V. supervised the project. All authors discussed the results and contributed to the final manuscript.

Correspondence to Jelena Vučković.

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Supplementary Figs. 1–3.

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Lukin, D.M., Dory, C., Guidry, M.A. et al. 4H-silicon-carbide-on-insulator for integrated quantum and nonlinear photonics. Nat. Photonics (2019) doi:10.1038/s41566-019-0556-6

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