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Frequency-bin photonic quantum information...

by Hsuan-hao Lu, Marco Liscidini, Alexander Gaeta, Andrew Weiner, Joseph M Lukens
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1655 to 1671

Discrete frequency modes, or bins, present a blend of opportunities and challenges for photonic quantum information processing. Frequency-bin-encoded photons are readily generated by integrated quantum light sources, naturally high-dimensional, stable in optical fiber, and massively parallelizable in a single spatial mode. Yet quantum operations on frequency-bin states require coherent and controllable multifrequency interference, making them significantly more challenging to manipulate than more traditional spatial degrees of freedom. In this mini-review, we describe recent developments that have transformed these challenges and propelled frequency bins forward. Focusing on sources, manipulation schemes, and detection approaches, we introduce the basics of frequency-bin encoding, summarize the state of the art, and speculate on the field’s next phases. Given the combined progress in integrated photonics, high-fidelity quantum gates, and proof-of-principle demonstrations, frequency-bin quantum information is poised to emerge from the lab and leave its mark on practical quantum information processing—particularly in networking where frequency bins offer unique tools for multiplexing, interconnects, and high-dimensional communications.