Metalens-array–based high-dimensional and multiphoton quantum source

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Science  26 Jun 2020:
Vol. 368, Issue 6498, pp. 1487-1490
DOI: 10.1126/science.aba9779

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Metalens-array–based quantum source

Spontaneous down-conversion is an exotic optical process in a nonlinear crystal in which a high-energy photon splits into two lower-energy photons that are quantum mechanically entangled. These entangled pairs are valuable commodities for quantum information processing and quantum communications. Because the experimental setup is usually performed with bulk optical components, there is a need to decrease the size scale for application. Li et al. combined an array of specialized metalenses with a nonlinear crystal and show that the scale of the process can be shrunk substantially. The approach should prove useful for developing miniaturized integrated quantum optical technologies.

Science, this issue p. 1487


The development of two-dimensional metasurfaces has shown great potential in quantum-optical technologies because of the excellent flexibility in light-field manipulation. By integrating a metalens array with a nonlinear crystal, we demonstrate a 100-path spontaneous parametric down-conversion photon-pair source in a 10 × 10 array, which shows promise for high-dimensional entanglement and multiphoton-state generation. We demonstrate two-, three- and four-dimensional two-photon path entanglement with different phases encoded by metalenses with fidelities of 98.4, 96.6, and 95.0%, respectively. Furthermore, four-photon and six-photon generation is observed with high indistinguishability of photons generated from different metalenses. Our metalens-array–based quantum photon source is compact, stable, and controllable, indicating a new platform for integrated quantum devices.

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