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Recent advances in superconducting nanowire single-photon detector technology for exoplanet transit spectroscopy in the mid-infrared

Published

Author(s)

Varun Verma, Jeff Chiles, Adriana Lita, Richard Mirin, Sae Woo Nam, Yao Zhai, Adam McCaughan, Emma Wollman, Alexander Walter, Boris Korzh, Jason Allmaras, Ekkehart Schmidt, S. Frasca, Matthew Shaw

Abstract

Superconducting nanowire single-photon detectors, or SNSPDs, have become the highest-performing class of single-photon detectors in the near-IR. At telecom wavelengths, SNSPDs have demonstrated detection effi- ciency above 95%, intrinsic dark count rates below 1 count/s, and maximum count rates of several hundred million counts/s/pixel. As SNSPD capabilities expand, they become promising candidates for new applications. The Origins Space Telescope mission concept study includes an instrument for exoplanet transit spectroscopy that requires detec- tor arrays with ultra-high pixel-to-pixel stability. SNSPDs, which have an essentially digital output, have the potential to meet the stringent stability requirements where existing mid-infrared detectors cannot due to drifts in their analog readout. Until recently, however, SNSPDs had not demonstrated operation at the mid-infrared wavelengths of interest, and SNSPD formats were limited to small arrays and active areas. Recent advances in SNSPD fabrication techniques have pushed SNSPD sensitivity to wavelengths beyond 7 μm and have enabled millimeter-scale active areas and kilop- ixel arrays. We report here on this progress and the outlook towards developing arrays of ultra-stable superconducting nanowire single-photon detectors for mid-infrared astronomy applications.
Citation
Journal of Astronomical Telescopes, Instruments, and Systems

Keywords

superconducting nanowire single-photon detector, superconducting detector, single-photon detector, in- frared, detector, space telescope.

Citation

Verma, V. , Chiles, J. , Lita, A. , Mirin, R. , Nam, S. , Zhai, Y. , McCaughan, A. , Wollman, E. , Walter, A. , Korzh, B. , Allmaras, J. , Schmidt, E. , Frasca, S. and Shaw, M. (2021), Recent advances in superconducting nanowire single-photon detector technology for exoplanet transit spectroscopy in the mid-infrared, Journal of Astronomical Telescopes, Instruments, and Systems (Accessed May 23, 2024)

Issues

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Created January 12, 2021, Updated May 5, 2023