Universal Unitary Photonic Circuits by Interlacing Discrete Fractional Fourier Transform and Phase Modulation
preprintposted on 2023-07-18, 16:00 authored by Matthew Markowitz, Mohammad-Ali Miri
We introduce a novel parameterization of complex unitary matrices, which allows for the efficient photonic implementation of arbitrary linear discrete unitary operators. The proposed architecture is built on factorizing an $N \times N$ unitary matrix into interlaced discrete fractional Fourier transforms and $N$-parameter diagonal phase shifts. We show that such a configuration can represent arbitrary unitary operators with $N+1$ phase layers. We discuss a gradient-based algorithm for finding the optimal phase parameters for implementing a given unitary matrix. By increasing the number of phase layers beyond the critical value of $N+1$, the optimization consistently converges faster as the system becomes over-determined. We propose an integrated photonic circuit realization of this architecture with coupled waveguide arrays and reconfigurable phase modulators. The proposed architecture can pave the way for developing novel families of programmable photonic circuits for optical classical and quantum information processing.