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Nanowire-based superconducting single-photon detectors for infrared single-photon source characterization



Martin J. Stevens, Burm Baek, Richard P. Mirin, Sae Woo Nam, Robert Hadfield


Single-photon sources and detectors enable a wide range of applications, from quantum information technologies to fundamental tests of quantum optics. Semiconductor quantum dots (QDs) have emerged as promising single-photon sources, and recent work has demonstrated their viability at wavelengths longer than 1 micron. Characterization of these sources, however, has been hindered by the poor quality of single-photon detectors in the infrared. Recently, supercon- ducting single-photon detectors (SSPDs) based on nanopatterned NbN have been shown to offer considerable advantages over conventional detectors. Unlike silicon-based devices, SSPDs are sensitive well into the infrared, and have been demonstrated with over 50 % detection efficiency at 1550 nm and operation at count rates as high as 1 GHz. Although SSPDs must be operated at temperatures near 4 K, we have minimized the associated difficulty and expense by packaging several fiber-coupled devices in a single cryogen-free refrigerator.
Proceedings Title
Progress in Electromagnetics Research
Conference Dates
July 2-6, 2008
Conference Location
Cambridge, MA
Conference Title
Progress in Electromagnetics Research 2008, Cambridge


single-photon detectors


Stevens, M. , Baek, B. , Mirin, R. , Nam, S. and Hadfield, R. (2008), Nanowire-based superconducting single-photon detectors for infrared single-photon source characterization, Progress in Electromagnetics Research, Cambridge, MA (Accessed April 15, 2024)
Created July 2, 2008, Updated February 19, 2017