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Publication Citation: Extending single-photon optimized superconducting transition edge sensors beyond the single-photon counting regime

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Author(s): Thomas Gerrits; Brice R. Calkins; Nathan A. Tomlin; Adriana E. Lita; Alan L. Migdall; Richard P. Mirin; Sae Woo Nam;
Title: Extending single-photon optimized superconducting transition edge sensors beyond the single-photon counting regime
Published: October 02, 2012
Abstract: Typically, transition edge sensors resolve photon number of up to 10 or 20 photons, depending on the wavelength and TES design. We extend that dynamic range up to 1000 photons, while maintaining sub- shot noise detection process uncertainty of the number of detected photons and beyond that show a monotonic response up to ≅ 6 × 106 photons in a single light pulse. This mode of operation, which heats the sensor far beyond its transition edge into the normal conductive regime, offers a technique for connecting single-photon-counting measurements to radiant- power measurements at picowatt levels. Connecting these two usually incompatible operating regimes in a single detector offers significant potential for directly tying photon counting measurements to conventional cryogenic radiometric standards. In addition, our measurements highlight the advantages of a photon-number state source over a coherent pulse source as a tool for characterizing such a detector.
Citation: Optics Express
Volume: 20
Issue: 21
Pages: pp. 23798 - 23810
Keywords: transition edge sensor; bridging the gap; radiometer
Research Areas: Optical Physics, Single Photon Detectors, Calibrations (Optical Radiation)
DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1364/OE.20.023798  (Note: May link to a non-U.S. Government webpage)
PDF version: PDF Document Click here to retrieve PDF version of paper (2MB)