High performance single-photon detectors

Project

Single-photon detection, what is the limit?


Objective

Developing ultrahigh efficiency, ultrahigh time resolution, and very high count-rate single-photon detectors is the main goal of this project.

Single photon detectors based on superconducting nanowires. The project will combine clean room nanofabrication with experimental work in quantum optics as well as design and realization of cryogenic amplifiers.


Impact

The detection of light at the single photon level, the quantum limit, has been of interest to scientists for several decades, first as a conceptual challenge and more recently as a ubiquitous technology. At this point, single Quantum commercializes single photon detectors with detection efficiencies as high as 80% and time resolution as fast as 15 ps. Several applications in quantum technologies require devices operating with yet higher efficiencies, approaching unity as well as better time resolution. The goal of this project is to develop devices achieving simultaneously better time resolution and detection efficiencies and also to develop the required new measurement techniques to qualify the detectors.

So far, time resolution of SNSPD of sub-10 ps has been measured in Delft but the physical limit lies about two orders of magnitude beyond. Reaching extreme time resolutions with single photon detectors will enable a vast amount of applications ranging from fundamental quantum optics where high time resolution can make non-degenerate transitions indistinguishable to laser ranging where time resolution will result in unprecedented spatial resolution.

Another aspect of the project is the study of polarization dependence, where optimized polarization dependence would also be beneficial for the quantum optics community. New entanglement measurements exploiting the uncertainty relation will be realized where different transitions are made indistinguishable through the detection process. This will be realized using quantum dots in nanowires that have been used in our group to generate entangled states with high fidelity, we expect yet better results to be obtained with faster detectors.

In addition, polarization dependence studies will be carried out and detectors with optimized polarization dependence will be realized and implemented in optics experiments.


Publications

Keywords
Target groups


Quantum optics and quantum information processing, Microscopy community (cell/biomedical imaging), Lidar, fast spectroscopy, high time resolution correlation spectroscopy

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News.

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Face2Phase – Oct 21-23, 2019

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