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# A topological source of quantum light

preprint

posted on 2023-11-30, 17:25 authored by Sunil Mittal, Elizabeth A. Goldschmidt, Mohammad HafeziQuantum light sources are characterized by their distinctive statistical distribution of photons. For example, single photons and correlated photon pairs exhibit antibunching and reduced variance in the number distribution that is impossible with classical light. Most common realizations of quantum light sources have relied on spontaneous parametric processes such as down-conversion (SPDC) and four-wave mixing (SFWM). These processes are mediated by vacuum fluctuations of the electromagnetic field. Therefore, by manipulating the electromagnetic mode structure, for example, using nanophotonic systems, one can engineer the spectrum of generated photons. However, such manipulations are susceptible to fabrication disorders which are ubiquitous in nanophotonic systems and lead to device-to-device variations in the spectrum of generated photons. Here, we demonstrate topologically robust mode engineering of the electromagnetic vacuum fluctuations and implement a nanophotonic quantum light source where the spectrum of generated photons is robust against fabrication disorders. Specifically, we use the topological edge states to achieve an enhanced and robust generation of correlated photon pairs using SFWM and show that they outperform their topologically-trivial counterparts. We demonstrate the non-classical nature of our source using conditional antibunching of photons which confirms that we have realized a robust source of heralded single photons. Such topological effects, which are unique to bosonic systems, could pave the way for the development of robust quantum photonic devices.