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Proceedings Paper

Absolute self-calibration of single-photon detectors with cw and pulsed spontaneous parametric down-conversion
Author(s): Ling-An Wu; Xi-Hao Chen; Yan-Hua Zhai; Da Zhang; Jun-Tao Chang
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Paper Abstract

Single-photon detectors are of great importance in spectroscopy, laser ranging, astronomy and wherever weak light detection is required, so a precise knowledge of their quantum efficiency is essential, but their calibration is by no means trivial. Traditional methods need a black body radiation source or a highly attenuated laser beam as a reference standard, or an already calibrated reference detector. It is well known that absolute measurement of the quantum efficiency, absolute in the sense that the calibration is independent of any radiometric standard or the properties of another detector, can be performed using entangled twin photons generated in optical spontaneous parametric down-conversion together with a reference detector. We have performed the first proof-of-principle experiment to determine the quantum efficiency by which no second detector or reference standard is required. This absolute self-calibration method is also based on the time correlation of photons emitted in parametric down-conversion, but with the introduction of a suitable time delay between the arrival times of the twin photons. Furthermore, we describe a scheme for absolute self-calibration of the quantum efficiency at different wavelengths by means of a pulsed source of nondegenerate down-converted photons. This method should have even greater potential for applications.

Paper Details

Date Published: 29 August 2006
PDF: 7 pages
Proc. SPIE 6305, Quantum Communications and Quantum Imaging IV, 630505 (29 August 2006); doi: 10.1117/12.681404
Show Author Affiliations
Ling-An Wu, Institute of Physics (China)
Xi-Hao Chen, Institute of Physics (China)
Liaoning Univ. (China)
Yan-Hua Zhai, Institute of Physics (China)
Da Zhang, Institute of Physics (China)
Jun-Tao Chang, Texas A&M Univ. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 6305:
Quantum Communications and Quantum Imaging IV
Ronald E. Meyers; Yanhua Shih; Keith S. Deacon, Editor(s)

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