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Faint Photonics Group

The Faint Photonics Group develops new light sources, detectors, and measurement techniques that operate at the few photon limit to address national needs in the areas of quantum information science, remote sensing, long-distance communications, and imaging.

The smallest unit of light is a "photon". Generation, manipulation and measurement of light at or near the fundamental limit of a photon can enhance the performance of many optical systems. Remote sensing, long-distance communications, biological imaging, and quantum information science are some near-term applications that would benefit immensely from better optical components and techniques that work efficiently at few or single photon levels. However, the technologies to generate, manipulate, and detect these states of light are inadequate for the emerging applications. The single photonics and quantum information project staff develops new light sources, detectors, and measurement techniques to address these needs.

News and Updates

Projects and Programs


Optoelectronic Intelligence

Jeff Shainline
To design and construct hardware for general intelligence, we must consider principles of both neuroscience and very-large-scale integration. For large neural

Quantum circuits with many photons on a programmable nanophotonic chip

Adriana Lita, Sae Woo Nam, Thomas Gerrits, J. M. Arrazola, V. Bergholm, K Bradler, T R. Bromley, M J. Collins, I Dhand, A Fumagalli, A Goussev, L G. Helt, J Hundal, T Isacsson, R B. Israel, N Quesada, V D. Vaidya, Z Vernon, Y Zhang
Growing interest in quantum computing for practical applications has led to a surge in the availability of programmable machines for loading and executing

Quantum interference enables constant-time quantum information processing

Thomas Gerrits, Sae Woo Nam, Adriana E. Lita, M. Stobinska, A. Buraczewski, M. Moore, W.R. Clements, J.J. Renema, W.S. Kolthammer, A. Eckstein, I.A. Walmsley
It is an open question how fast information processing can be performed and whether quantum effects can speed up the best existing solutions. Signal extraction

Integrated transition edge sensors on lithium niobate waveguides

Thomas Gerrits, Adriana E. Lita, Richard P. Mirin, Sae Woo Nam, Jan P. Hoepker, Stephan Krapick, Harald Herrmann, Raimund Ricken, Victor Quiring, Christine Silberhorn, Tim J. Bartley
We show the proof-of-principle detection of light at 1550 nm coupled evanescently from a lithium niobate waveguide to a superconducting transition edge sensor


SOEN Process Design Kits

This technology package, a.k.a process design kit (PDK), defines the NIST superconducting optoelectronics process: OLMAC. It is in the klayout format of


2020 APS Fellow - Sae Woo Nam

For the pioneering development of high-quantum-efficiency photon detectors and of number-resolving photon detectors; and for the application

2019 PECASE - Varun Verma

For pushing the frontiers of quantum physics through pioneering new devices that detect and count single particles of light, and for serving


Group Leader