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Application-Specific Photonic Integrated Circuit (PIC) for a Quantum System


OUSD (R&E) CRITICAL TECHNOLOGY AREA(S): Quantum Science OBJECTIVE: Develop an application-specific photonic integrated circuit to serve a specific quantum system (e.g. Rydberg sensor, clock transition). The device should integrate into and be demonstrated with an already existing quantum sensor. DESCRIPTION: Quantum sensors have demonstrated the ability to surpass classical sensors in areas such as clocks [1], Rydberg sensors [2], and magnetometers [3]. Currently, these devices have limited deployment due to factors such as the large SWaP, a lack of environmental robustness, and limited scalability. A major hurdle in overcoming these issues is the size and construction of typical laser systems associated with the quantum sensors. One solution is the development of a photonic integrated circuit (PIC) [4]. These devices have been shown to significantly reduce the size of a laser system through lithographically small structures in materials such as lithium niobate, silicon nitride, or aluminum nitride while being able to be manufactured at scale. Additionally, they offer significant increases in robustness due to factors such as vibrations [5]. The DoD seeks the development of an application specific PIC to serve a specific quantum sensor or clock as well as the integration into said sensor. Because of the plethora of quantum sensors, the call does not specify a sensor or clock, but rather allows the proposer to suggest their own. This is a call for the integration of a quantum sensor with a PIC, not for the development of a quantum sensor. This may include the development of the laser as well as other components on the photonically integrated circuit, such photodiodes, modulators, optical isolators, waveguides/passive structures, etc. A final integration with a quantum sensor and subsequent demonstration will be required. PHASE I: A successful phase I will outline the device and a demonstration of feasibility. This can be through extensive modeling, with validation of models being preferred. An already constructed quantum sensor should be described with a path towards integration. Phase I Base amount must not exceed $295,000 for a 12-month period of performance. PHASE II: Phase II is a prototype delivery of the PIC and quantum sensor to the government. The device should demonstrate the integration of the fabricated photonically integrated circuit with the quantum sensor and display a path towards larger quantities of production. Phase II Base amount must not exceed $1,300,000 for a 24-month period of performance and the Option amount must not exceed $650,000 for a 12-month period of performance. PHASE III DUAL USE APPLICATIONS: This technology can be used for multiple military technologies such as inertial sensors (accelerometers, gyroscopes), gravity gradiometers, magnetometers and atomic clocks and has a dual use for the same applications in the commercial section. REFERENCES: 1. Ludlow, A. D., Boyd, M. M., Ye, J., Peik, E., and Schmidt P. O., Optical atomic clocks. Rev. Mod. Phys. 87, 637 (2015). 2. Adams, C. S., Pritchard, J. D., Shaffer, J. P., Rydberg atom quantum technologies. J. Phys. B: At. Mol. Opt. Phys. 53 012002 (2020) 3. Budker, D., Kimball, D. F. J., Optical Magnetometry. Cambridge University Press (2013). 4. Blumenthal, D., Photonic integration for UV to IR applications. APL Photonics 5, 020903 (2020). 5. Niffenegger, R.J., Stuart, J., Sorace-Agaskar, C. et al. Integrated multi-wavelength control of an ion qubit. Nature 586, 538–542 (2020). KEYWORDS: Quantum; photonic integrated circuits; quantum sensors; lasers; photonics; quantum sensor
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