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Optical Engineering • Open Access

Review of superconducting nanowire single-photon detector system design options and demonstrated performance
Author(s): Eric A. Dauler; Matthew E. Grein; Andrew J. Kerman; Francesco Marsili; Shigehito Miki; Sae Woo Nam; Matthew D. Shaw; Hirotaka Terai; Varun B. Verma; Taro Yamashita

Paper Abstract

We describe a number of methods that have been pursued to develop superconducting nanowire single-photon detectors (SNSPDs) with attractive overall performance, including three systems that operate with <70% system detection efficiency and high maximum counting rates at wavelengths near 1550 nm. The advantages and tradeoffs of various approaches to efficient optical coupling, electrical readout, and SNSPD design are described and contrasted. Optical interfaces to the detectors have been based on fiber coupling, either directly to the detector or through the substrate, using both single-mode and multimode fibers with different approaches to alignment. Recent advances in electrical interfaces have focused on the challenges of scalability and ensuring stable detector operation at high count rates. Prospects for further advances in these and other methods are also described, which may enable larger arrays and higher-performance SNSPD systems in the future. Finally, the use of some of these techniques to develop fully packaged SNSPD systems will be described and the performance available from these recently developed systems will be reviewed.

Paper Details

Date Published: 16 June 2014
PDF: 13 pages
Opt. Eng. 53(8) 081907 doi: 10.1117/1.OE.53.8.081907
Published in: Optical Engineering Volume 53, Issue 8
Show Author Affiliations
Eric A. Dauler, MIT Lincoln Lab. (United States)
Matthew E. Grein, MIT Lincoln Lab. (United States)
Andrew J. Kerman, MIT Lincoln Lab. (United States)
Francesco Marsili, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)
Shigehito Miki, National Institute of Information and Communications Technology (Japan)
Sae Woo Nam, National Institute of Standards and Technology (United States)
Matthew D. Shaw, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)
Hirotaka Terai, National Institute of Information and Communications Technology (Japan)
Varun B. Verma, National Institute of Standards and Technology (United States)
Taro Yamashita, National Institute of Information and Communications Technology (Japan)


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