3D - Quantum Integrated Optical Simulation
3D - Quantum Integrated Optical Simulation

Suppression law of quantum states in a 3D photonic fast Fourier transform chip

Just in published in Nature Communications

The identification of phenomena able to pinpoint quantum interference is attracting large interest. Indeed, a generalization of the Hong–Ou–Mandel effect valid for any number of photons and optical modes would represent an important leap ahead both from a fundamental perspective and for practical applications, such as certification of photonic quantum devices, whose computational speedup is expected to depend critically on multi-particle interference. Quantum distinctive features have been predicted for many particles injected into multimode interferometers implementing the Fourier transform over the optical modes. Here we develop a scalable approach for the implementation of the fast Fourier transform algorithm using three-dimensional photonic integrated interferometers, fabricated via femtosecond laser writing technique. We observe the suppression law for a large number of output states with four- and eight-mode optical circuits: the experimental results demonstrate genuine quantum interference between the injected photons, thus offering a powerful tool for diagnostic of photonic platforms.

A. Crespi, R. Osellame, R. Ramponi, M. Bentivegna, F. Flamini, N. Spagnolo, N. Viggianiello, L. Innocenti, P. Mataloni, and F. Sciarrino, "Suppression law of quantum states in a 3-D photonic fast Fourier transform chip", Nature Communications 7, 10469 (2016).

Thermally reconfigurable quantum photonic circuits at telecom wavelength by femtosecond laser micromachining

Just published in Light: Science & Applications - Nature

The importance of integrated quantum photonics in the telecom band is based on the possibility of interfacing with the optical network infrastructure that was developed for classical communications. In this framework, femtosecond laser-written integrated photonic circuits, which have already been assessed for use in quantum information experiments in the 800-nm wavelength range, have great potential. In fact, these circuits, being written in glass, can be perfectly mode-matched at telecom wavelength to the in/out coupling fibers, which is a key requirement for a low-loss processing node in future quantum optical networks. In addition, for several applications, quantum photonic devices must be dynamically reconfigurable. Here, we experimentally demonstrate the high performance of femtosecond laser-written photonic circuits for use in quantum experiments in the telecom band, and we demonstrate the use of thermal shifters, which were also fabricated using the same femtosecond laser, to accurately tune such circuits. State-of-the-art manipulation of single- and two-photon states is demonstrated, with fringe visibilities greater than 95%. The results of this work open the way to the realization of reconfigurable quantum photonic circuits based on this technological platform.

F. Flamini, L. Magrini, A. S. Rab, N. Spagnolo, V. D'Ambrosio, P. Mataloni, F. Sciarrino, T. Zandrini, A. Crespi, R. Ramponi, & R. Osellame, "Thermally reconfigurable quantum photonic circuits at telecom wavelength by femtosecond laser micromachining", Light: Science & Applications 4, e354 (2015).

Storage and retrieval of vector beams of light in a multiple-degree-of-freedom quantum memory

Just published in Nature Communications

Multiple-degree-of-freedom quantum memory for vector beam storage.

The full structuration of light in the transverse plane, including intensity, phase and polarization, holds the promise of unprecedented capabilities for applications in classical optics as well as in quantum optics and information sciences. Harnessing special topologies can lead to enhanced focusing, data multiplexing or advanced sensing and metrology. Here we experimentally demonstrate the storage of such spatio-polarization-patterned beams into an optical memory. A set of vectorial vortex modes is generated via liquid crystal cell with topological charge in the optic axis distribution, and preservation of the phase and polarization singularities is demonstrated after retrieval, at the single-photon level. The realized multiple-degree-of-freedom memory can find applications in classical data processing but also in quantum network scenarios where structured states have been shown to provide promising attributes, such as rotational invariance.

V. Parigi, V. D’Ambrosio, C. Arnold, L. Marrucci, F. Sciarrino & J. Laurat, Storage and retrieval of vector beams of light in a multiple-degree-of-freedom quantum memory, Nature Communications 6, 7706 (2015).

Experimental scattershot boson sampling

Just published in Science Advances

Boson sampling is a computational task strongly believed to be hard for classical computers, but efficiently solvable by orchestrated bosonic interference in a specialized quantum computer. Current experimental schemes, however, are still insufficient for a convincing demonstration of the advantage of quantum over classical computation. A new variation of this task, scattershot boson sampling, leads to an exponential increase in speed of the quantum device, using a larger number of photon sources based on parametric down-conversion. This is achieved by having multiple heralded single photons being sent, shot by shot, into different random input ports of the interferometer. We report the first scattershot boson sampling experiments, where six different photon-pair sources are coupled to integrated photonic circuits. We use recently proposed statistical tools to analyze our experimental data, providing strong evidence that our photonic quantum simulator works as expected. This approach represents an important leap toward a convincing experimental demonstration of the quantum computational supremacy.


M. Bentivegna, N. Spagnolo, C. Vitelli, F. Flamini, N. Viggianiello, L. Latmiral, P. Mataloni, D. J. Brod, E. F. Galvao, A. Crespi, R. Ramponi, R. Osellame, F. Sciarrino, "Experimental scattershot boson sampling", Science Advances 1, e1400255 (2015).


Experimental validation of photonic boson sampling

Just published in Nature Photonics

A boson sampling device is a specialized quantum computer that solves a problem that is strongly believed to be computationally hard for classical computers. Recently, a number of small-scale implementations have been reported, all based on multiphoton interference in multimode interferometers. Akin to several quantum simulation and computation tasks, an open problem in the hard-to-simulate regime is to what extent the correctness of the boson sampling outcomes can be certified. We report new boson sampling experiments on larger photonic chips and analyse the data using a recently proposed scalable statistical test. We show that the test successfully validates small experimental data samples against the hypothesis that they are uniformly distributed. In addition, we show how to discriminate data arising from either indistinguishable or distinguishable photons. Our results pave the way towards larger boson sampling experiments whose functioning, despite being non-trivial to simulate, can be certified against alternative hypotheses.

N. Spagnolo, C. Vitelli, M. Bentivegna, D. J. Brod, A. Crespi, F. Flamini, S. Giacomini, G. Milani, R. Ramponi, P. Mataloni, R. Osellame, E. F. Galvao, and F. Sciarrino, "Experimental validation of photonic boson sampling", Nature Photonics (2014) doi:10.1038/nphoton.2014.135.

Rotated waveplates in integrated waveguide optics

Just published in Nature Communications

Controlling and manipulating the polarization state of a light beam is crucial in applications ranging from optical sensing to optical communications, both in the classical and quantum regime, and ultimately whenever interference phenomena are to be exploited. In addition, many of these applications present severe requirements of phase stability and greatly benefit from a monolithic integrated-optics approach. However, integrated devices that allow arbitrary transformations of the polarization state are very difficult to produce with conventional lithographic technologies. Here we demonstrate waveguide-based optical waveplates, with arbitrarily rotated birefringence axis, fabricated by femtosecond laser pulses. To validate our approach, we exploit this component to realize a compact device for the quantum state tomography of two polarization-entangled photons. This work opens perspectives for integrated manipulation of polarization-encoded information with relevant applications ranging from integrated polarimetric sensing to quantum key distribution.

Giacomo Corrielli,  Andrea Crespi, Riccardo Geremia, Roberta Ramponi, Linda Sansoni, Andrea Santinelli, Paolo Mataloni, Fabio Sciarrino, and Roberto Osellame, "Rotated waveplates in integrated waveguide optics", Nature Communications  5, 4249 (2014). 

Integrated multimode interferometers with arbitrary designs for photonic boson sampling

The evolution of bosons undergoing arbitrary linear unitary transformations quickly becomes hard to predict using classical computers as we increase the number of particles and modes. Photons propagating in a multiport interferometer naturally solve this so-called boson sampling problem, thereby motivating the development of technologies that enable precise control of multiphoton interference in large interferometers. Here, we use novel three-dimensional manufacturing techniques to achieve simultaneous control of all the parameters describing an arbitrary interferometer. We implement a small instance of the boson sampling problem by studying three-photon interference in a five-mode integrated interferometer, confirming the quantum-mechanical predictions. Scaled-up versions of this set-up are a promising way to demonstrate the computational advantage of quantum systems over classical computers. The possibility of implementing arbitrary linear-optical interferometers may also find applications in high-precision measurements and quantum communication.

  • A. Crespi, R. Osellame, R. Ramponi, D. J. Brod, E. F. Galvao, N. Spagnolo, C. Vitelli, E. Maiorino, P. Mataloni, F. Sciarrino, Integrated multimode interferometers with arbitrary designs for photonic boson samplingNature Photonics 7, 545 (2013).

Anderson localization of entangled photons in an integrated quantum walk

Just published in Nature Photonics

First predicted for quantum particles in the presence of a disordered potential, Anderson localization is a ubiquitous effect, observed also in classical systems, arising from the destructive interference of waves propagating in static disordered media. Here we report the observation of this phenomenon for pairs of polarization-entangled photons in a discrete quantum walk affected by position-dependent disorder. By exploiting polarization entanglement of photons to simulate different quantum statistics, we experimentally investigate the interplay between the Anderson localization mechanism and the bosonic/fermionic symmetry of the wavefunction. The disordered lattice is realized by an integrated array of interferometers fabricated in glass by femtosecond laser writing. A novel technique is used to introduce a controlled phase shift into each unit mesh of the network. This approach yields great potential for quantum simulation and for implementing a computational power beyond the one of a classical computer in the ‘hard-to-simulate’ scenario.

A. Crespi, R. Osellame, R. Ramponi, V. Giovannetti, R. Fazio, L. Sansoni, F. De Nicola, F. Sciarrino, and P. Mataloni, Anderson localization of entangled photons in an integrated quantum walk, Nature Photonics 7, 322–328 (2013) doi:10.1038/nphoton.2013.26.

Boson sampling: the race

Photons naturally solve the BosonSampling problem: sample the outputs of a multi-photon experiment in a linear-optical interferometer. This is strongly believed to be hard to do on a classical computer, and motivates the development of technologies that enable precise control of multi-photon interference in large interferometers. Here we report multi-photon experiments in a 5-mode integrated interferometer. We use novel three-dimensional manufacturing techniques to achieve simultaneous control of 25 independent parameters that describe an arbitrary interferometer. We characterize the chip using one- and two-photon experiments, and confirm the quantum mechanical predictions for three-photon interference. Scaled up versions of this setup are the most promising way to demonstrate the computational capability of quantum systems, and may have applications in high-precision measurements and quantum communication.


 A. Crespi, R. Osellame, R. Ramponi, D. J. Brod, E. F. Galvao, N. Spagnolo, C. Vitelli, E. Maiorino, P. Mataloni, and F. Sciarrino, Experimental boson sampling in arbitrary integrated photonic circuits,[arXiv:1212.2783] 

Three-photon bosonic coalescence in an integrated tritter

The main features of quantum mechanics reside into interference deriving from the superposition of different quantum objects. While current quantum optical technology enables two-photon interference both in bulk and integrated systems, simultaneous interference of more than two particles, leading to richer quantum phenomena, is still a challenging task. Here we report the experimental observation of three-photon interference in an integrated three-port directional coupler realized by ultrafast laser-writing. By exploiting the capability of this technique to produce three-dimensional structures, we realized and tested in the quantum regime a three-photon beam splitter, namely a tritter, which allowed us to observe bosonic coalescence of three photons. These results open new important perspectives in many areas of quantum information, such as fundamental tests of quantum mechanics with increasing number of photons, quantum state engineering, quantum sensing and quantum simulation.


N. Spagnolo, C. Vitelli, L. Aparo, P. Mataloni, F. Sciarrino, A. Crespi, R. Ramponi, and R. Osellame,Three-photon bosonic coalescence in an integrated tritter, Nature Communications 4, 1606 (2013) doi:10.1038/ncomms2616.

Quantum interferometry with three-dimensional geometry

Just published in Scientific Reports (Nature)


Quantum interferometry uses quantum resources to improve phase estimation with respect to classical methods. Here we propose and theoretically investigate a new quantum interferometric scheme based on three-dimensional waveguide devices. These can be implemented by femtosecond laser waveguide writing, recently adopted for quantum applications. In particular, multiarm interferometers include “tritter” and “quarter” as basic elements, corresponding to the generalization of a beam splitter to a 3- and 4-port splitter, respectively. By injecting Fock states in the input ports of such interferometers, fringe patterns characterized by nonclassical visibilities are expected. This enables outperforming the quantum Fisher information obtained with classical fields in phase estimation. We also discuss the possibility of achieving the simultaneous estimation of more than one optical phase. This approach is expected to open new perspectives to quantum enhanced sensing and metrology performed in integrated photonics.


N. Spagnolo, L. Aparo, C. Vitelli, A. Crespi, R. Ramponi, R. Osellame, P. Mataloni, F. Sciarrino, Quantum interferometry with three-dimensional geometrySci. Rep. 2, 862 (2012).



Variational quantum process tomography of two-qubit maps

Full characterization of quantum states and processes is a fundamental requirement for verification and benchmarking of quantum devices. It has been realized in systems with few components, but for larger systems it becomes unfeasible because of the exponential growing with the system size of the number of measurements and the amount of computational power required to process them. A new approach for quantum state tomography and quantum process tomography, requiring a limited number of measurements, has been recently introduced by Maciel et al. [ Quantum Inf. Comput. 12 0442 (2012) Int. J. Mod. Phys. C 22 1361 (2011)], namely variational quantum-process tomography (VQT). Here we adopt the VQT approach for the experimental characterization of two-qubit quantum processes and compare the reconstructed maps with those obtained by standard tomographic methods. The results demonstrate the high performance of this approach and propose VQT as a powerful alternative to the standard quantum process tomography.



 R.A. Vianna, A. Crespi, R. Osellame, R. Ramponi, L. Sansoni, P. Mataloni, and F. Sciarrino, Variatonal quantum process tomography of two-qubit maps, Physical Review A 87, 032304 (2013).

Principal Investigator

Prof. Fabio Sciarrino

Dipartimento di Fisica

Università di Roma

piazzale Aldo Moro 5

00185 Roma


Telephone: 0039-06-49913517

Fax: 0039-06-49913525


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