Quantum Optical Semiconductor Chip and its Application to Quantum Communication
Navy STTR 2020.A - Topic N20A-T005
NAVAIR - Ms. Donna Attick donna.attick@navy.mil
Opens: January 14, 2020 - Closes: February 12, 2020 (8:00 PM ET)


TITLE: Quantum Optical Semiconductor Chip and its Application to Quantum Communication


TECHNOLOGY AREA(S): Air Platform, Electronics, Information Systems


OBJECTIVE: Develop a quantum optical semiconductor chip and demonstrate its application to efficient photonic entanglement, efficient logic gates such as Hadamard and CNOT, and quantum communication protocols through fiber optical channels.

DESCRIPTION: Current quantum chips utilize Superconducting Quantum Interference Device (SQUID) technology, which operates under very low cryogenic temperatures of a few degrees above absolute zero. Creating such a low temperature environment is costly and difficult, making this technology less suitable for many applications. One alternative to superconductors is an optical-based technology that can operate in room temperature where expensive refrigeration is not required. Recently, the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) demonstrated a quantum communication protocol called “teleportation” [Ref 1] via open-air laser using optical apparatus at room temperature. While this technology seems to be a promising alternative to the current SQUID-based technology, creating such an optical apparatus presents its own challenges and requires a room space because presently optical components are much bulkier than their silicon counterparts in SQUID. Therefore, the miniaturization of such an optical apparatus into a semiconductor chip would be hugely beneficial. With this photonic silicon chip, basic logic gates such as Hadamard and CNOT (Controlled NOT) could be built and the teleportation protocol could be performed through fiber optical channels. Different approaches can be employed for the realization of this photonic chip, such as discrete variable (qubit), continuous variable (wave packet), or a hybrid of these. If successful, this would lay the groundwork for more practical access to quantum technology (including quantum communication and distributed quantum computing) and would further enable rapid development of quantum technology in general.

Below are some of the challenges.
A) Single photon source - the goal is to generate indistinguishable photons on demand.
B) Entanglement - on-demand photonic entanglement [Ref 2] plays a crucial role in quantum information protocols. Therefore, a method for preparing photonic entangled states on demand for reliable quantum information processing needs to be developed. A new diagnostic method developed recently was to detect quantum entanglement experimentally [Ref 3].
C) Logic Gates – design appropriate waveguides to play a role in quantum logic gates.

Efficiencies for a single photon generation, on-demand photonic entanglement, and performance of logic gates are figures of merit for this effort.

Proof-of-principle on-chip demonstration of all the above requirements will be evaluated. Develop quantum optical semiconductor chips and demonstrate one of the simplest quantum information protocols, “teleportation”, based on the most essential quantum features: superposition and entanglement that are implemented by Hadamard and CNOT gates respectively.

PHASE I: Design and develop a solution for efficient entanglement and basic logic gates on photonic chips. Demonstrate feasibility of a concept. The Phase I effort will include prototype plans to be developed under Phase II.

PHASE II: Demonstrate efficient logic gates such as Hadamard and CNOT and improve entanglement efficiency. Develop and demonstrate a prototype and aid government personnel to evaluate the performance of the prototype in a laboratory. Demonstrate quantum communication protocols such as super dense coding and teleportation through fiber optical channels. Deliver a prototype and help Government personnel to evaluate the performance of the prototype in a laboratory.

PHASE III DUAL USE APPLICATIONS: Finalize and transition technology into use for Navy systems. Commercialize quantum communication and quantum sensing. The desired technology is based on quantum silicon photonics; therefore, semiconductor chipmakers can easily adapt the technology to their existing manufacturing frameworks. Just like graphics processing units (GPUs) are getting popular, quantum-processing units (QPUs) can be developed and used with central processing units (CPUs) in the future.


1. Nielsen, M. and Chuang, I. "Quantum Computation and Quantum Information 10th Anniversary Edition." Cambridge University Press: New York, 2010. http://mmrc.amss.cas.cn/tlb/201702/W020170224608149940643.pdf

2. Takase, K., Takeda, S. and Furusawa, A. "On-demand photonic entanglement synthesizer." Conference on Lasers and Electro-Optics, OSA Technical Digest, Optical Society of America, 2019, paper FTh1D.1. https://www.osapublishing.org/abstract.cfm?uri=CLEO_QELS-2019-FTh1D.1

3. Saggio, V., Dimic, A., Greganti, C., Rozema, , L.P. Walther, P. and Dakic, B. “Verifying Multi-Partite Entanglement with a Few Detection Events.” IEEE Explore, 2019 Conference on Lasers and Electro-Optics (CLEO)  DOI: 10.23919/CLEO.2019.8749720

KEYWORDS: Quantum Optical Semiconductor; Photonic Entanglement; Quantum Logic Gates; Quantum Sensors; Quantum Communication; Quantum