Demonstration of sub-3 ps temporal resolution with a superconducting nanowire single-photon detector

Korzh, B.A. and Qing-Yuan Zhao, and J. P. Allmaras, and Frasca, S. and Autry, T.M. and Bersin, Eric A. and Beyer, A.D. and Briggs, Ryan M. and Kozorezov, Alexander (2020) Demonstration of sub-3 ps temporal resolution with a superconducting nanowire single-photon detector. Nature Photonics, 14. 250–255. ISSN 1749-4885

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Improvements in temporal resolution of single photon detectors enable increased data rates and transmission distances for both classical and quantum optical communication systems, higher spatial resolution in laser ranging, and observation of shorter-lived fluorophores in biomedical imaging. In recent years, superconducting nanowire single-photon detectors (SNSPDs) have emerged as the most efficient, time-resolving single-photon counting detectors available in the near infrared, but understanding of the fundamental limits of timing resolution in these devices has been limited due to a lack investigations into the time scales involved in the detection process. We introduce an experimental technique to probe the detection latency in SNSPDs and show that the key to achieving low timing jitter is the use of materials with low latency. By using a specialised niobium nitride (NbN) SNSPD we demonstrate that the system temporal resolution can be as good as 2.6±0.2 ps for visible wavelengths and 4.3±0.2 ps at 1550 nm.

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Nature Photonics
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23 Jan 2020 09:50
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22 Nov 2022 08:37