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Day 2: Integrated Semiconductor Quantum Photonic Devices Incubator

Michael Forkner, OSA & SPS

Day 2 of the OSA Incubator on Integrated Semiconductor Quantum Photonic Devices kicked off with a session on Materials and Device Integration.  This session focused on the challenges associated with creating entanglements between atoms and in materials on a larger scale. Many of the talks were about ways to increase the scale of the systems they were working with. Speakers emphasized the point that in order to have the desired properties for real world applications, devices would need more than a few atoms entangled.

The afternoon session, on Devices for Non-Linear Optical Quantum Technologies, focused on new techniques and devices surrounding the field of non-linear optics. Without the invention of new measurement devices and techniques, science would quickly hit a stand still. While most scientists gloss over the equipment necessary to take their data, it is important for the advancement of any field to share new and better ways to make measurements, especially in the area of quantum photonics.

Carrying on the discussion from yesterday (See Day 1), the group talked more about where as a collective they wanted to go and how they were going to get there. They discussed what new experiments would be the most scientifically exciting, what is realistic to expect in the future, and what is too complicated to achieve right now. Then, they talked about some of the challenges facing the field in general. Dr. Edo Waks, one of the hosts of the Incubator, professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Maryland, and member of the Joint Quantum Institute, summarized it well: The problems that scientists are facing have become complicated enough that they cannot figure out solutions in a team that is limited to two or three people. They need get to a point where there are standards, performance metrics, and common resources that the community can access. That is how they will quickly advance their research and research in the larger area of quantum photonics.

During closing marks, the next steps of the group were discussed. The unanimous decision was that meetings like the Incubator need to be occurring more frequently. When commenting on why it was such a success, they mentioned that the Incubator was exactly what was necessary to bring together the community and discuss advances, lessons learned and next steps. They discussed the possibility of doing something like this program annually, where they preserve the same kind of format, to help the community advance their research.

OSA’s Incubator meeting format is a unique setting for formal and informal professional development and networking between specialized professionals. Unlike conferences, which can have hundreds or even thousands of attendees, Incubators are small, focused, and are ideal for fostering learning and collaboration. For specialized fields, especially those that are in emerging areas, it is important to understand and share research at a deeper level. This Incubator provided the opportunity for the quantum photonics community to come together and discuss common challenges, the future of the field, and acknowledge the necessity of standards and collaboration. I expect to see more from OSA and this community over the coming months and years.
Attendees of the OSA Integrated Semiconductor Quantum Photonic Devices Incubator.
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