Thermally reconfigurable quantum photonic circuits at telecom wavelength by femtosecond laser micromachining

The importance of integrated quantum photonics in the telecom band is based on the possibility of interfacing with the optical network infrastructure that was developed for classical communications. In this framework, femtosecond laser-written integrated photonic circuits, which have already been assessed for use in quantum information experiments in the 800-nm wavelength range, have great potential. In fact, these circuits, being written in glass, can be perfectly mode-matched at telecom wavelength to the in/out coupling fibers, which is a key requirement for a low-loss processing node in future quantum optical networks. In addition, for several applications, quantum photonic devices must be dynamically reconfigurable. Here, we experimentally demonstrate the high performance of femtosecond laser-written photonic circuits for use in quantum experiments in the telecom band, and we demonstrate the use of thermal shifters, which were also fabricated using the same femtosecond laser, to accurately tune such circuits. State-of-the-art manipulation of single- and two-photon states is demonstrated, with fringe visibilities greater than 95%. The results of this work open the way to the realization of reconfigurable quantum photonic circuits based on this technological platform.

Research highlights in Nature Photonics:

Noriaki Horiuchi, “Reconfigurable circuits” – Nature Photonics 10, 73 (2016)