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Nat Commun. 2011;2:224. doi: 10.1038/ncomms1228.

Multimode quantum interference of photons in multiport integrated devices.

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Centre for Quantum Photonics, H. H. Wills Physics Laboratory & Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, University of Bristol, Merchant Venturers Building, Woodland Road, Bristol BS8 1UB, UK.


Photonics is a leading approach in realizing future quantum technologies and recently, optical waveguide circuits on silicon chips have demonstrated high levels of miniaturization and performance. Multimode interference (MMI) devices promise a straightforward implementation of compact and robust multiport circuits. Here, we show quantum interference in a 2 × 2 MMI coupler with visibility of V=95.6 ± 0.9%. We further demonstrate the operation of a 4 × 4 port MMI device with photon pairs, which exhibits complex quantum interference behaviour. We have developed a new technique to fully characterize such multiport devices, which removes the need for phase-sensitive measurements and may find applications for a wide range of photonic devices. Our results show that MMI devices can operate in the quantum regime with high fidelity and promise substantial simplification and concatenation of photonic quantum circuits.

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