60dB high-extinction auto-configured Mach-Zehnder interferometer

Jeremy O'Brien, Mark Thompson, Graham Marshall, David Miller, Xiaoqi Zhou, Stefano Paesani, Raffaele Santagati, Jianwei Wang, Xiaogang Qiang, Callum Wilkes

Research output: Contribution to journalLetter (Academic Journal)peer-review

91 Citations (Scopus)
354 Downloads (Pure)


Imperfections in integrated photonics manufacturing have a detrimental effect on the maximal achievable visibility in interferometric architectures. These limits have profound implications for further photonics technological developments and in particular for quantum photonics technologies. Active optimisation approaches, together with reconfigurable photonics, have been proposed as a solution to overcome this. In this paper, we demonstrate an ultra-high (>60 dB) extinction ratio in a silicon photonic device consisting of cascaded Mach-Zehnder interferometers, in which additional interferometers function as variable beamsplitters. The imperfections of fabricated beamsplitters are compensated using an automated progressive optimization algorithm with no requirement for pre-calibration. This work shows the possibility of integrating and accurately controlling linear-optical components for large-scale quantum information processing and other applications.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5318-5321
Number of pages4
JournalOptics Letters
Issue number22
Early online date11 Nov 2016
Publication statusPublished - 15 Nov 2016

Structured keywords

  • QETLabs


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