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9 August 2016

NSF grants $2m to project to fabricate chip-scale integrated SiC quantum photonic processors

Under a four-year, $2m grant from the US National Science Foundation (NSF), Qiang Lin, assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering in the University of Rochester's Hajim School of Engineering & Applied Sciences, will lead a photonics system integration research project 'EFRI ACQUIRE: A Scalable Integrated Quantum Photonic Interconnect' that aims to ultimately reduce the complexity and increase the capacity of quantum information processing for secure communication, metrology, sensing and advanced computing.

Funding comes from NSF Emerging Frontiers in Research and Innovation (EFRI), the signature program for the Office of Emerging Frontiers and Multidisciplinary Activities (EFMA) within the Directorate of Engineering.

Picture: Artist's conception of quantum node lattice with detailed inset of SiC integrated photonic processor within one of the quantum nodes. (University of Rochester).

Picture: Artist's conception of quantum node lattice with detailed inset of SiC integrated photonic processor within one of the quantum nodes. (University of Rochester).

"Our team will build chip-scale integrated silicon carbide quantum photonic processors for high-fidelity and energy-efficient quantum information processing, which interface seamlessly with fiber-optic links for secure communication and distribution of quantum information," says Lin, principal investigator of the project and director of the university's Laboratory for Quantum, Nonlinear and Mechanical Photonics, which studies the fundamental physics of light and its applications, including secure communication and advanced computing. "We have a very strong, multidisciplinary, multi-university team of experts for this project, coming together in a shared vision," says Lin.

Co-principal investigators are John Howell (professor of physics and optics), David Awschalom of the University of Chicago, Philip Feng of Case Western Reserve University, and Jurgen Michel of Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) — all global experts in chip-scale integrated SiC quantum photonic processors. Members of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Thomas Gerrits, Sae Woo Nam and Richard Mirin are also collaborating on the project.

The research is expected to result in a new class of device technologies with previously inaccessible attributes and merits that may eventually have a profound commercial impact on the industrial sector. SiC combines excellent linear optical, nonlinear optical, point defect, electrical, mechanical and thermal characteristics into a single material with mature wafer processing and device fabrication capability, hence representing a promising material system for integrated quantum photonics.

Such research also feeds into the work of the AIM Photonics (American Institute for Manufacturing Photonics) consortium of the US Department of Defense (DoD), of which the University of Rochester is a partner.

Tags: SiC Quantum computing

Visit: www.nsf.gov/eng/efma

Visit: www.aimphotonics.com

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