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Proceedings Paper

Superconducting transition-edge sensors optimized for high-efficiency photon-number resolving detectors
Author(s): A. E. Lita; B. Calkins; L. A. Pellouchoud; A. J. Miller; S. Nam
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Paper Abstract

Superconducting photon detectors have emerged as a powerful new option for detecting single photons. System detection efficiency that incorporates the quantum efficiency of the device and system losses is one of the most important single-photon detector performance metrics for quantum information applications. Superconducting transition-edge sensors (TESs) are microcalorimeters that have the ability of distinguishing single photons with negligible dark counts. In addition, TESs are capable of directly measuring the photon number in a pulse of light. We have achieved near-unity system detection efficiency with TESs at particular wavelengths in the near-infrared by using multilayer structures that enhance the absorption of light into the active device material. We describe the design of the multilayer structure enabling high detection efficiency TESs including issues and requirements for obtaining detection efficiency values higher than 99 %. We describe the device fabrication and finally, show recent results of devices optimized for high detection efficiency using the multilayer structure.

Paper Details

Date Published: 27 April 2010
PDF: 10 pages
Proc. SPIE 7681, Advanced Photon Counting Techniques IV, 76810D (27 April 2010); doi: 10.1117/12.852221
Show Author Affiliations
A. E. Lita, National Institute of Standards and Technology (United States)
B. Calkins, National Institute of Standards and Technology (United States)
L. A. Pellouchoud, National Institute of Standards and Technology (United States)
A. J. Miller, Albion College (United States)
S. Nam, National Institute of Standards and Technology (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 7681:
Advanced Photon Counting Techniques IV
Mark A. Itzler; Joe C. Campbell, Editor(s)

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