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Proceedings Paper

Towards linear optical detection with single photon sensitivity at telecom wavelengths
Author(s): Saeedeh Jahanmirinejad; Andrea Fiore
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Paper Abstract

Standard linear optical detectors have a maximum sensitivity in the few hundreds of photons range, limited by amplifier noise. On the other hand, single photon detectors, which are the most sensitive detectors, are strongly nonlinear: One or more photons result in the same output signal. Photon number resolving (PNR) detectors, which have the ability to discriminate the number of photons in a weak optical pulse, are of great importance in the field of quantum information processing and quantum cryptography. Moreover, a PNR detector with large dynamic range can cover the gap between these two detection modes. Such detectors are greatly desirable not only in quantum information science and technology, but also in any application dealing with low light levels. In this work, we propose a novel approach to photon number resolving detectors based on spatial multiplexing of nanowire superconducting single-photon detectors. In the proposed approach, N superconducting nanowires, each connected in parallel to an integrated resistor, are connected in series. Photon absorption in a nanowire switches its bias current to the parallel resistor, forming a voltage pulse across it. The sum of these voltages, proportional to the number of absorbed photons, is measured at the output. The use of a cryogenic preamplifier with high input impedance for the read-out increases the linearity, the signal to noise ratio, and the speed. With this combination, we expect to be able to count up to few tens of photons with high fidelity, excellent timing resolution, and very high sensitivity in the telecommunication wavelength range.

Paper Details

Date Published: 4 May 2012
PDF: 6 pages
Proc. SPIE 8440, Quantum Optics II, 84400N (4 May 2012); doi: 10.1117/12.923010
Show Author Affiliations
Saeedeh Jahanmirinejad, Eindhoven Univ. of Technology (Netherlands)
Andrea Fiore, Eindhoven Univ. of Technology (Netherlands)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 8440:
Quantum Optics II
Thomas Durt; Victor N. Zadkov, Editor(s)

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