Waveguide-integrated single- and multi-photon detection at telecom wavelengths using superconducting nanowires
We investigate single- and multi-photon detection regimes of superconducting nanowire detectors embedded in silicon nitride nanophotonic circuits. At near-infrared wavelengths, simultaneous detection of up to three photons is observed for 120 nm wide nanowires biased far from the critical current, while narrow nanowires below 100 nm provide efficient single photon detection. A theoretical model is proposed to determine the different detection regimes and to calculate the corresponding internal quantum efficiency. The predicted saturation of the internal quantum efficiency in the single photon regime agrees well with plateau behavior observed at high bias currents.