Nanomechanical single-photon routing

Papon, C. and Zhou, X. and Thyrrestrup, H. and Liu, Z. and Stobbe, S. and Schott, R. and Wieck, A.D. and Ludwig, Ar. and Lodahl, P. and Midolo, L.

Volume: 6 Pages: 524-530
DOI: 10.1364/OPTICA.6.000524
Published: 2019

The active routing of photons using rapid reconfigurable integrated circuits is a key functionality for quantum-in-formation processing. Typical waveguide-based optical switches rely on the modulation of the refractive index, producing a modest variation of the phase of the optical fields. Mechanical motion of nanophotonic structures, on the contrary, can be tailored to produce a much larger effect, without introducing loss or emitter decoherence and operating at a speed matching the quantum memory storage time of the on-chip quantum emitter. Here we demonstrate a compact and low-loss nano-opto-electromechanical single-photon router, based on two coupled waveguides whose distance is adjusted on demand by an external voltage. We show controllable two-port routing of single photons emitted from quantum dots embedded in the same chip. We report a maximum splitting ratio >23 dB, insertion loss of 0.67 dB, and sub-microsecond response time. The device is an essential building block for constructing advanced quantum photonic architectures on-chip, towards, e.g., coherent multi-photon sources, deterministic photon– photon quantum gates, quantum-repeater nodes, or scalable quantum networks. © 2019 Optical Society of America.

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