A silicon quantum photonic integrated circuit comprising a semiconductor QD LED photon source, waveguide, photodetector and a substrate


Quantum information processing (QuIP) technologies have capabilities to tackle computational problems extending well beyond the reach of classical computers, such as large-scale molecular simulations for material design and drug discovery or connecting a network of distributed quantum sensors for ultraprecise measurements. Quantum communication systems (QCSs), the core of QuIP, at minimum require a source for photon generation, a detector, and a channel to transmit photons between the source and the detector. Over the last decade, there has been tremendous progress related to the generation, manipulation, storage, propagation, and detection of photons for QuIP, much of which has been focused on developing individual components that satisfy the rather stringent requirements of QuIP at the single-photon level. Integrating these individual components into complete QCSs with optimized operation for various components is a challenging task that requires an interdisciplinary approach. The realization of future QuIP technologies will necessitate miniaturization and integration of high-quality single-photon sources and detectors, and photonic quantum circuit elements for manipulating and distributing the single photons, including binary-entangled or multi-photon-correlated platforms.

Technology Overview

Scientists at the University of Rochester have designed a silicon quantum photonic integrated circuit (SiQuPIC) comprised of two key technologies, one for the emitter and the second for the photodetector, that are both based on the use of a superconductor—in particular, NbN thin films. In the case of the emitter, the on-demand electrically driven photon sources can be superconducting QD LEDs, where either single electrons or Cooper pairs from the superconductor recombine in the QD with holes injected from the p-side of the device. For the photodetectors, waveguide-integrated uperconducting nanostripe single-photon detectors (SNSPDs) can be used, where an NbN nanostripe coupled to an optical waveguide acts as the detector itself. SNSPDs are currently the best detectors for counting and sensing photons from visible light to mid-infrared and can reach close to 100% detection efficiency. These elements can be integrated on a single Si chip, with scalable defect-free heterogeneous integration of dissimilar materials enabled by their nano size. This process should result in highly reliable, scalable, and inexpensive fabrication of compact SiQuPICs that can be customized for each particular application of interest.


This invention is intended to push the frontiers of engineering in quantum information science and technology by providing an integrated platform to implement novel devices for quantum communications. The platform is transformative for two main reasons: first, it is quite promising for the implementation in a quantum communication system network as well as the development and realization of large-scale systems; and second, the individual components and devices that can be used in the platform are quite novel and can potentially achieve unprecedented performance for quantum information applications.


  • Biological imaging
  • Gravitometry
  • Position-navigation-timing
  • Quantum computing/communications
  • Artificial intelligence
  • Renewable energy
URV Reference Number: 2-19034
Patent Information:
For Information, Contact:
Curtis Broadbent
Licensing Manager
University of Rochester
Roman Sobolewski
Ganesh Balakrishnan
Marek Osinski
Arash Mafi