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A 64-pixel mid-infrared single-photon imager based on superconducting nanowire detectors



Benedikt Hampel, Richard Mirin, Sae Woo Nam, Varun Verma


A large-format mid-infrared single-photon imager with very low dark count rates would enable a broad range of applications in fields like astronomy and chemistry. Superconducting nanowire single-photon detectors (SNSPDs) are a mature photon-counting technology as demonstrated by their figures of merit such as high detection efficiencies and very low dark count rates. However, scaling SNSPDs to large array sizes for mid-infrared applications requires sophisticated readout architectures in addition to superconducting materials development. In this work, an SNSPD array design that combines a thermally coupled row-column multiplexing architecture with a thermally coupled time-of-flight transmission line was developed for mid-infrared applications. The design requires only six cables and can be scaled to larger array sizes. The demonstration of a 64-pixel array shows promising results for wavelengths between 3.4 μm and 10 μm, which will enable the use of this single-photon detector technology for a broad range of new applications.
Applied Physics Letters


SNSPD, mid-infrared, single photon detector, thermally-coupled imager


Hampel, B. , Mirin, R. , Nam, S. and Verma, V. (2024), A 64-pixel mid-infrared single-photon imager based on superconducting nanowire detectors, Applied Physics Letters, [online],, (Accessed May 19, 2024)


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Created January 25, 2024, Updated April 3, 2024