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Proceedings Paper

Registration of infrared single photons by a two-channel receiver based on fiber-coupled superconducting single-photon detectors
Author(s): O. Okunev; G. Chulkova; I. Milostnaya; A. Antipov; K. Smirnov; D. Morozov; A. Korneev; B. Voronov; G. Gol'tsman; W. Slysz; M. Wegrzecki; J. Bar; P. Grabiec; M. Górska; A. Pearlman; A. Cross; J. Kitaygorsky; Roman Sobolewski
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Paper Abstract

Single-photon detectors (SPDs) are the foundation of all quantum communications (QC) protocols. Among different classes of SPDs currently studied, NbN superconducting SPDs (SSPDs) are established as the best devices for ultrafast counting of single photons in the infrared (IR) wavelength range. The SSPDs are nanostructured, 100 μm2 in total area, superconducting meanders, patterned by electron lithography in ultra-thin NbN films. Their operation has been explained within a phenomenological hot-electron photoresponse model. We present the design and performance of a novel, two-channel SPD receiver, based on two fiber-coupled NbN SSPDs. The receivers have been developed for fiber-based QC systems, operational at 1.3 μm and 1.55 μm telecommunication wavelengths. They operate in the temperature range from 4.2 K to 2 K, in which the NbN SSPDs exhibit their best performance. The receiver unit has been designed as a cryostat insert, placed inside a standard liquid-heliumstorage dewar. The input of the receiver consists of a pair of single-mode optical fibers, equipped with the standard FC connectors and kept at room temperature. Coupling between the SSPD and the fiber is achieved using a specially designed, precise micromechanical holder that places the fiber directly on top of the SSPD nanostructure. Our receivers achieve the quantum efficiency of up to 7% for near-IR photons, with the coupling efficiency of about 30%. The response time was measured to be < 1.5 ns and it was limited by our read-out electronics. The jitter of fiber-coupled SSPDs is < 35 ps and their dark-count rate is below 1s-1. The presented performance parameters show that our single-photon receivers are fully applicable for quantum correlation-type QC systems, including practical quantum cryptography.

Paper Details

Date Published: 5 March 2008
PDF: 8 pages
Proc. SPIE 7009, Second International Conference on Advanced Optoelectronics and Lasers, 70090V (5 March 2008); doi: 10.1117/12.793402
Show Author Affiliations
O. Okunev, Moscow State Pedagogical Univ. (Russia)
G. Chulkova, Moscow State Pedagogical Univ. (Russia)
I. Milostnaya, Moscow State Pedagogical Univ. (Russia)
A. Antipov, Moscow State Pedagogical Univ. (Russia)
K. Smirnov, Moscow State Pedagogical Univ. (Russia)
D. Morozov, Moscow State Pedagogical Univ. (Russia)
A. Korneev, Moscow State Pedagogical Univ. (Russia)
B. Voronov, Moscow State Pedagogical Univ. (Russia)
G. Gol'tsman, Moscow State Pedagogical Univ. (Russia)
W. Slysz, Institute of Electron Technology (Poland)
M. Wegrzecki, Institute of Electron Technology (Poland)
J. Bar, Institute of Electron Technology (Poland)
P. Grabiec, Institute of Electron Technology (Poland)
M. Górska, Institute of Electron Technology (Poland)
A. Pearlman, Univ. of Rochester (United States)
A. Cross, Univ. of Rochester (United States)
J. Kitaygorsky, Univ. of Rochester (United States)
Roman Sobolewski, Univ. of Rochester (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 7009:
Second International Conference on Advanced Optoelectronics and Lasers

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