Cavity-Enhanced and Ultrafast Superconducting Single-Photon Detectors
Ultrafast single-photon detectors with high efficiency are of utmost importance for many applications in the context of integrated quantum photonic circuits. Detectors based on superconductor nanowires attached to optical waveguides are particularly appealing for this purpose. However, their speed is limited because the required high absorption efficiency necessitates long nanowires deposited on top of the waveguide. This enhances the kinetic inductance and makes the detectors slow. Here, we solve this problem by aligning the nanowire, contrary to usual choice, perpendicular to the waveguide to realize devices with a length below 1 μm. By integrating the nanowire into a photonic crystal cavity, we recover high absorption efficiency, thus enhancing the detection efficiency by more than an order of magnitude. Our cavity enhanced superconducting nanowire detectors are fully embedded in silicon nanophotonic circuits and efficiently detect single photons at telecom wavelengths. The detectors possess subnanosecond decay (∼120 ps) and recovery times (∼510 ps) and thus show potential for GHz count rates at low timing jitter (∼32 ps). The small absorption volume allows efficient threshold multiphoton detection.
We report on the design, fabrication and measurement of travelling-wave superconducting nanowire single-photon detectors (SNSPDs) integrated with polycrystalline diamond photonic circuits. We analyze their performance both in the near-infrared wavelength regime around 1600 nm and at 765 nm. Near-IR detection is important for compatibility with the telecommunication infrastructure, while operation in the visible wavelength range is relevant for compatibility with the emission line of silicon vacancy centers in diamond which can be used as efficient single-photon sources. Our detectors feature high critical currents (up to 31 μA) and high performance in terms of efficiency (up to 74% at 765 nm), noise-equivalent power (down to 4.4×10-19 W/Hz1/2 at 765 nm) and timing jitter (down to 23 ps).
A thorough spectral study of the intrinsic single-photon detection efficiency in superconducting TaN and NbN nanowires with different widths has been performed. The experiment shows that the cut-off of the intrinsic detection efficiency at near-infrared wavelengths is most likely controlled by the local suppression of the barrier for vortex nucleation around the absorption site. Beyond the cut-off quasi-particle diffusion in combination with spontaneous, thermally activated vortex crossing explains the detection process. For both materials, the reciprocal cut-off wavelength scales linearly with the wire width where the scaling factor agrees with the hot-spot detection model.
The development of terahertz imaging instruments for security systems is on the cutting edge of terahertz technology. We are developing a THz imaging system based on a superconducting integrated receiver (SIR). An SIR is a new type of heterodyne receiver based on an SIS mixer integrated with a flux-flow oscillator (FFO) and a harmonic mixer which is used for phase-locking the FFO. Employing an SIR in an imaging system means building an entirely new instrument with many advantages compared to traditional systems. In this project we propose a prototype THz imaging system using an 1 pixel SIR and 2D scanner. At a local oscillator frequency of 500 GHz the best noise equivalent temperature difference (NETD) of the SIR is 10 mK at an integration time of 1 s and a detection bandwidth of 4 GHz. The scanner consists of two rotating flat mirrors placed in front of the antenna consisting of a spherical primary reflector and an aspherical secondary reflector. The diameter of the primary reflector is 0.3 m. The operating frequency of the imaging system is 600 GHz, the frame rate is 0.1 FPS, the scanning area is 0.5 × 0.5 m2, the image resolution is 50 × 50 pixels, the distance from an object to the scanner was 3 m. We have obtained THz images with a spatial resolution of 8 mm and a NETD of less than 2 K.
We investigate the absorption properties of U-shaped niobium nitride (NbN) nanowires atop nanophotonic circuits. Nanowires as narrow as 20nm are realized in direct contact with Si3N4 waveguides and their absorption properties are extracted through balanced measurements. We perform a full characterization of the absorption coefficient in dependence of length, width and separation of the fabricated nanowires, as well as for waveguides with different cross-section and etch depth. Our results show excellent agreement with finite-element analysis simulations for all considered parameters. The experimental data thus allows for optimizing absorption properties of emerging single-photon detectors co-integrated with telecom wavelength optical circuits.
We demonstrate coherent dynamics of quantized magnetic fluxes in a superconducting loop with a weak link, a nanobridge patterned from the same thin NbN film as the loop. The bridge is a short, rounded shape constriction, close to 10 nm long and 20–30 nm wide, having minimal width at its center. It superposes neighboring fluxoid states of the loop. Quantum state control and coherent oscillations in the driven time evolution of the tunnel-junctionless system are achieved. Decoherence and energy relaxation in the system are studied using a combination of microwave spectroscopy and direct time-domain techniques. The effective flux noise behavior suggests inductance fluctuations as a possible cause of the decoherence.
This volume presents new results in the study and optimization of information transmission models in telecommunication networks using different approaches, mainly based on theiries of queueing systems and queueing networks .
The paper provides a number of proposed draft operational guidelines for technology measurement and includes a number of tentative technology definitions to be used for statistical purposes, principles for identification and classification of potentially growing technology areas, suggestions on the survey strategies and indicators. These are the key components of an internationally harmonized framework for collecting and interpreting technology data that would need to be further developed through a broader consultation process. A summary of definitions of technology already available in OECD manuals and the stocktaking results are provided in the Annex section.