Abstract:
The emerging strategy to overcome the limitations of bulk quantum optics consists of taking advantage of the robustness and compactness achievable by the integrated waveguide technology. Here we report the realization of a directional coupler, fabricated by femtosecond laser waveguide writing, acting as an integrated beam splitter able to support polarization encoded qubits. This maskless and single step technique allows to realize circular transverse waveguide profiles able to support the propagation of Gaussian modes with any polarization state. Using this device, we demonstrate the quantum interference with polarization entangled states and singlet state projection.

Abstract:
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 photonic.

Abstract:
We introduce and experimentally demonstrate a class of surface bound states with algebraic decay in a one-dimensional tight-binding lattice. Such states have an energy embedded in the spectrum of scattered states and are structurally stable against perturbations of lattice parameters. Experimental demonstration of surface states with algebraic localization is presented in an array of evanescently-coupled optical waveguides with tailored coupling rates.

Abstract:
We perform a comprehensive set of experiments that characterize bosonic bunching of up to 3 photons in interferometers of up to 16 modes. Our experiments verify two rules that govern bosonic bunching. The first rule, obtained recently in [1,2], predicts the average behavior of the bunching probability and is known as the bosonic birthday paradox. The second rule is new, and establishes a n!-factor quantum enhancement for the probability that all n bosons bunch in a single output mode, with respect to the case of distinguishable bosons. Besides its fundamental importance in phenomena such as Bose-Einstein condensation, bosonic bunching can be exploited in applications such as linear optical quantum computing and quantum-enhanced metrology.

Abstract:
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.

Abstract:
A boson sampling device is a specialised quantum computer that solves a problem which is strongly believed to be computationally hard for classical computers. Recently a number of small-scale implementations have been reported, all based on multi-photon interference in multimode interferometers. In the hard-to-simulate regime, even validating the device's functioning may pose a problem . In a recent paper, Gogolin et al. showed that so-called symmetric algorithms would be unable to distinguish the experimental distribution from the trivial, uniform distribution. Here we report new boson sampling experiments on larger photonic chips, and analyse the data using a scalable statistical test recently proposed by Aaronson and Arkhipov. We show the test successfully validates small experimental data samples against the hypothesis that they are uniformly distributed. We also 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.

Abstract:
We realize a photonic analog simulator of the quantum Rabi model, based on light transport in femtosecond-laser-written waveguide superlattices, which provides an experimentally accessible testbed to explore the physics of light-matter interaction in the deep strong coupling regime. Our optical setting enables to visualize dynamical regimes not yet accessible in cavity or circuit quantum electrodynamics, such as bouncing of photon number wave packets in parity chains of Hilbert space.

Abstract:
Femtosecond laser irradiation followed by chemical etching (FLICE) with hydrogen fluoride (HF) is an emerging technique for the fabrication of directly buried, three-dimensional microfluidic channels in silica. The procedure, as described in literature, consists of irradiating a silica slab followed by chemical etching using hydrogen fluoride. With aqueous HF the etching process is diffusion-limited and is self-terminating, leading to maximum microchannel lengths of about 1.5 mm, while the use of low-pressure gaseous HF etchant can quickly produce 3 mm long channels with an aspect ratio (Length/Diameter) higher than 25. By utilizing this methodology the aspect ratio is not constant, but depends on the length of the channel. When the microchannel is short the aspect ratio increases quickly until it reaches a maximum length at around 1400 μm. Thereafter the aspect ratio starts to decrease slowly. In this paper we present a variation of the low-pressure gaseous HF etching method, which is based on the dynamic displacement of the etchant. This method results in a 13% increase in the aspect ratio (L/D = 29) at the expense of a low etching speed (4 μm/min).

Abstract:
Quantum walk represents one of the most promising resources for the simulation of physical quantum systems, and has also emerged as an alternative to the standard circuit model for quantum computing. Up to now the experimental implementations have been restricted to single particle quantum walk, while very recently the quantum walks of two identical photons have been reported. Here, for the first time, we investigate how the particle statistics, either bosonic or fermionic, influences a two-particle discrete quantum walk. Such experiment has been realized by adopting two-photon entangled states and integrated photonic circuits. The polarization entanglement was exploited to simulate the bunching-antibunching feature of non interacting bosons and fermions. To this scope a novel three-dimensional geometry for the waveguide circuit is introduced, which allows accurate polarization independent behaviour, maintaining a remarkable control on both phase and balancement.

Abstract:
Escaping from a complex maze, by exploring different paths with several decision-making branches in order to reach the exit, has always been a very challenging and fascinating task. Wave field and quantum objects may explore a complex structure in parallel by interference effects, but without necessarily leading to more efficient transport. Here, inspired by recent observations in biological energy transport phenomena, we demonstrate how a quantum walker can efficiently reach the output of a maze by partially suppressing the presence of interference. In particular, we show theoretically an unprecedented improvement in transport efficiency for increasing maze size with respect to purely quantum and classical approaches. In addition, we investigate experimentally these hybrid transport phenomena, by mapping the maze problem in an integrated waveguide array, probed by coherent light, hence successfully testing our theoretical results. These achievements may lead towards future bio-inspired photonics technologies for more efficient transport and computation.