Direct characterization of a nonlinear photonic circuit's wave function with laser light

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Light: Science and Applications, 2018, 7 (1)
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© The Author(s) 2018. Integrated photonics is a leading platform for quantum technologies including nonclassical state generation 1, 2, 3, 4, demonstration of quantum computational complexity 5 and secure quantum communications 6. As photonic circuits grow in complexity, full quantum tomography becomes impractical, and therefore an efficient method for their characterization 7, 8 is essential. Here we propose and demonstrate a fast, reliable method for reconstructing the two-photon state produced by an arbitrary quadratically nonlinear optical circuit. By establishing a rigorous correspondence between the generated quantum state and classical sum-frequency generation measurements from laser light, we overcome the limitations of previous approaches for lossy multi-mode devices 9, 10. We applied this protocol to a multi-channel nonlinear waveguide network and measured a 99.28±0.31% fidelity between classical and quantum characterization. This technique enables fast and precise evaluation of nonlinear quantum photonic networks, a crucial step towards complex, large-scale, device production.
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