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Photonics & Quantum Communication

AIT's Photonics & Quantum Communication Laboratory at the Center for Digital Safety & Security deals with technologies based on the use of light. The activities of the research group Physical Layer Security in this laboratory range from photonically integrated circuits at chip level to system integration of optical and electronic components and the demonstration of new applications in telecommunications, quantum optics and sensor technology. The research laboratory has at its disposal a wide range of instruments for optical and high-frequency signal generation and analysis - from nanometers to terahertz.

Optical telecom / datacom

  • optical multi-format transmitters (I/Q, CML, EML, DML)
  • coherent / IM/DD receivers (PIN+TIA, APD+TIA)
  • optical comb generator for 32 channels in C-and L-band
  • CWDM comb from 1270 to 1610 nm.
  • narrow-linewidth (2 kHz) tunable lasers
  • optical amplifiers (SOA, EDFA) and reach extenders for C- and L-band
  • passive ROADM and resilience switch
  • various optical network components (filters, (cyclic) arrayed waveguide gratings, A/D nodes, switches, etc.)
  • various electrical RF components (low-noise and high-power (linear) amplifiers, filters and equalizers, etc)
  • 300 km standard single-mode fiber stack
  • 16 GHz / 80GS/s Real-time scope
  • 20 GHz / 65 GSa/s Arbitrary Waveform Generator
  • high-resolution optical (visible, near-infrared)
  • high-resolution RF spectrum analyser (26.5 GHz)
  • vector network analyser
  • 12.5 Gb/s pulse pattern generator and BER tester
  • Piezo-stabilised optical probe station for optoelectronic chips, for butt- (InP, SiN) and vertical light coupling (SoI)
  • Matlab algorithms addressing photonic components and optical subsystems

Radio-over-fiber / optical wireless

  • Remote radio heads for radio-over-fiber applications in the context of 5G
  • RF Beamformer (optical true time delay)
  • Frequency converters (photonic up-conversion)
  • Various millimeter-wave RF components (LNA, PA, filters, mixers)
  • 100-GHz Photomixer
  • Various transmitters and receivers for LiFi applications

Quantum communications

  • single-photon avalanche photo detectors (visible, near-infrared)
  • EPR sources
  • 40 GHz mode-locked laser for ps-pulse generation, pulse picker
  • Demonstrators for quantum key distribution (BB84 QKD, DPS-QKD, CV-QKD)
  • Quantum random number generator (vacuum-noise)
  • GHz balanced homodyne detector
  • Optical spectrum analyser operating at single-photon level (Raman measurement)
  • Signal processing for CV-QKD
  • QRNG randomness extraction and testing
  • QKD stack
  • State-of-the-art PCB and FPGA development tools


For further instrumentation we use synergies with the Radio Frequency Lab, also located in the Center for Digital Safety & Security.