Research ArticlePHYSICS

Connecting heterogeneous quantum networks by hybrid entanglement swapping

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Science Advances  29 May 2020:
Vol. 6, no. 22, eaba4508
DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.aba4508


Recent advances in quantum technologies are rapidly stimulating the building of quantum networks. With the parallel development of multiple physical platforms and different types of encodings, a challenge for present and future networks is to uphold a heterogeneous structure for full functionality and therefore support modular systems that are not necessarily compatible with one another. Central to this endeavor is the capability to distribute and interconnect optical entangled states relying on different discrete and continuous quantum variables. Here, we report an entanglement swapping protocol connecting such entangled states. We generate single-photon entanglement and hybrid entanglement between particle- and wave-like optical qubits and then demonstrate the heralded creation of hybrid entanglement at a distance by using a specific Bell-state measurement. This ability opens up the prospect of connecting heterogeneous nodes of a network, with the promise of increased integration and novel functionalities.

This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial license, which permits use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, so long as the resultant use is not for commercial advantage and provided the original work is properly cited.

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