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Quantum optics of soliton microcombs

Abstract

Soliton microcombs—phase-locked microcavity frequency combs—have become the foundation of several classical technologies in integrated photonics, including spectroscopy, LiDAR and optical computing. Despite the predicted multimode entanglement across the comb, experimental study of the quantum optics of the soliton microcomb has been elusive. In this work we use second-order photon correlations to study the underlying quantum processes of soliton microcombs in an integrated silicon carbide microresonator. We show that a stable temporal lattice of solitons can isolate a multimode below-threshold Gaussian state from any admixture of coherent light, and predict that all-to-all entanglement can be realized for the state. Our work opens a pathway toward a soliton-based multimode quantum resource.

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Fig. 1: Linearized model for quantum optical fields in a DKS state.
Fig. 2: Single-photon spectroscopy of optical microcombs.
Fig. 3: Quantum coherence of parametric oscillation.
Fig. 4: Formation dynamics of secondary combs.
Fig. 5: Quantum correlations in non-phase-locked combs and perfect soliton crystals.

Data availability

The data that support the findings of this study are available from the corresponding author on request.

Code availability

The code used in this study is available from the corresponding author on request.

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Acknowledgements

We gratefully acknowledge discussions with J. Bowers, T. Zhong, L. Chang, C. Bao, B. Shen, A. Dutt and S. Sun. This work is funded by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency under the PIPES and LUMOS programmes and by the IET AF Harvey Prize. M.A.G. acknowledges the Albion Hewlett Stanford Graduate Fellowship (SGF) and the NSF Graduate Research Fellowship. D.M.L. acknowledges the Fong SGF and the National Defense Science and Engineering Graduate Fellowship. Part of this work was performed at the Stanford Nanofabrication Facility (SNF) and the Stanford Nano Shared Facilities (SNSF).

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M.A.G., D.M.L., K.Y.Y. and J.V. conceived the experiment. M.A.G. conducted quantum correlations theory. K.Y.Y, M.A.G. and D.M.L. conducted soliton generation experiments. D.M.L, M.A.G. and K.Y.Y. conducted quantum correlations experiments. D.M.L. fabricated the devices. D.M.L., K.Y.Y. and M.A.G. conducted LLE simulations. M.A.G. and R.T. performed the entanglement calculation. R.T. provided theoretical guidance. J.V. supervised the project. All authors discussed the results and contributed to the final manuscript.

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Correspondence to Jelena Vučković.

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The authors declare no competing interests.

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Supplementary Information

Supplementary Figs. 1–7, Discussion and Table 1.

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Guidry, M.A., Lukin, D.M., Yang, K.Y. et al. Quantum optics of soliton microcombs. Nat. Photon. 16, 52–58 (2022). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41566-021-00901-z

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