Integrated programmable waveguide circuits for classical and quantum photonic processing

Caterina Taballione

Research output: ThesisPhD Thesis - Research UT, graduation UT

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Programmable waveguide circuits are crucial building blocks for integrated spectrometric applications and quantum photonic information processing. Amongst the dielectric material platforms in integrated photonics, silicon nitride stands out with highly attractive properties such as a large bandgap energy and a moderately high index contrast. This allows low propagation losses in a wide spectral range while simultaneously allowing a dense packing of components. The aforementioned properties, together with the inherent phase stability and phase programmability achievable in silicon nitride, enable the creation of complex photonic circuits.
In this thesis we describe and demonstrate densely integrated programmable photonic circuits based on silicon nitride waveguides for wavelength metrology and quantum information processing. We concentrate on reconfigurable photonic integrated circuits based on silicon nitride waveguides with low-loss propagation, to explore interference in the spectral and temporal domain for advanced applications. We investigated two types of integrated interferometric devices featuring low loss in combination with programmability for classical and quantum photonic processing. The first is simple tunable microring resonator circuits in combination with neural network data processing for the analysis of classical light in the spectral domain as wavelength meter. The second is a complex tunable network of waveguide interferometers for controlling quantum correlations (coincidences) between single photons.
Exploiting the long-term interferometric stability, low propagation loss and tight optical confinement of integrated silicon nitride waveguides, we have shown complex reconfigurable optical circuits both for classical and quantum photonic processing. For future development of integrated programmable photonic processors, various challenges need to be addressed such as compact and low-power phase shifters, a further increase of the component density and lower the propagation losses.
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
Awarding Institution
  • University of Twente
  • Boller, K.-J., Supervisor
  • Pinkse, Pepijn, Supervisor
Award date11 Jul 2019
Place of PublicationEnschede
Print ISBNs978-90-365-4803-8
Publication statusPublished - 11 Jul 2019


  • Integrated photonics
  • Programmable waveguide circuits
  • Spectral signal processing
  • Quantum information processing


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