• A
  • A
  • A
  • ABC
  • ABC
  • ABC
  • А
  • А
  • А
  • А
  • А
Regular version of the site

Article

Cavity-Enhanced and Ultrafast Superconducting Single-Photon Detectors

Nano Letters. 2016. Vol. 16. No. 11. P. 7085-7092.
Vetter A., Ferrari S., Rath P., Alaee R., Kahl O., Kovalyuk V., Diewald S., Goltsman G., Korneev A., Rockstuhl C., Pernice W.

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.