Optical Quantum Network Time Frequency Multiplexer

Physical Sciences Inc (PSI), has been awarded a research program from the Department of Energy (DOE) to develop photonic chip-based time-to-frequency multiplexers to convert time-bin quantum information to frequency-division multiplexed signals within a single time-bin, effectively ‘stacking’ multiple time bins, that will be transmitted efficiently through fiber and demultiplexed using a complimentary chip.

As progress in quantum information and computation leads to ground-breaking advances, there is a critical need to realize quantum networks. Of the different encoding methods, time-bin encoding is both common and advantageous for quantum networks, however, scaling time-bin-based quantum networks poses two key challenges. First, these networks require identical phase-locked delay lines within each networking node to handle the time-encoded quantum information. Increasing time-bin count requires more delays that must also be phase locked throughout the network, increasing complexity. Second, combating low rates arising from fiber losses—even with quantum repeaters—requires higher bandwidths. As laying additional fibers to increase bandwidth is cost prohibitive, multiplexing becomes necessary, particularly, spectral multiplexing to utilize the full capacity of fiber. An ideal scalable quantum network should avoid the complexities of delay-line phase locking and exploit multiplexing to increase optical bandwidth.

PSI’s time-to-frequency multiplexing technology will enable multiplexing of quantum-entanglement data over current fiber-based networks, greatly increasing the capacity of near-term quantum networks without the burden of laying additional dedicated fiber. This approach will reduce initial quantum-network infrastructure to expedite some of the first quantum networks. These devices will become a key component for every node within a quantum network that will enable advanced quantum computing, secure communication and quantum sensing.

For more information, contact:

Dr. Joel Hensley
Vice President, Photonics
Physical Sciences Inc.
Telephone: (978) 689-0003