Generation and sampling of quantum states of light in a silicon chip

Stefano Paesani, Yunhong Ding, Raffaele Santagati, Levon Chakhmakhchyan, Caterina Vigliar, Karsten Rottwitt, Leif K. Oxenløwe, Jianwei Wang, Mark G. Thompson, Anthony Laing

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

150 Citations (Scopus)
296 Downloads (Pure)


Implementing large instances of quantum algorithms requires the processing of many quantum information carriers in a hardware platform that supports the integration of different components. While established semiconductor fabrication processes can integrate many photonic components, the generation and algorithmic processing of many photons has been a bottleneck in integrated photonics. Here we report the on-chip generation and processing of quantum states of light with up to eight photons in quantum sampling algorithms. Switching between different optical pumping regimes, we implement the Scattershot, Gaussian and standard boson sampling protocols in the same silicon chip, which integrates linear and nonlinear photonic circuitry. We use these results to benchmark a quantum algorithm for calculating molecular vibronic spectra. Our techniques can be readily scaled for the on-chip implementation of specialised quantum algorithms with tens of photons, pointing the way to efficiency advantages over conventional computers.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)925-929
Number of pages5
JournalNature Physics
Issue number9
Early online date1 Jul 2019
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2019

Structured keywords

  • Bristol Quantum Information Institute
  • QETLabs


  • Quantum optics
  • Quantum simulation
  • Single photons and quantum effects


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