Spectrally multiplexed single-photon detection with hybrid superconducting nanophotonic circuits
The detection of individual photons by superconducting nanowire single-photon detectors is an inherently binary mechanism, revealing either their absence or presence while concealing their spectral information. For multicolor imaging techniques, such as single-photon spectroscopy, fluorescence resonance energy transfer microscopy, and fluorescence correlation spectroscopy, wavelength discrimination is essential and mandates spectral separation prior to detection. Here, we adopt an approach borrowed from quantum photonic integration to realize a compact and scalable waveguide-integrated single-photon spectrometer capable of parallel detection on multiple wavelength channels, with temporal resolution below 50 ps and dark count rates below 10 Hz at 80% of the devices’ critical current. We demonstrate multidetector devices for telecommunication and visible wavelengths, and showcase their performance by imaging silicon vacancy color centers in diamond nanoclusters. The fully integrated hybrid superconducting nanophotonic circuits enable simultaneous spectroscopy and lifetime mapping for correlative imaging and provide the ingredients for quantum wavelength-division multiplexing on a chip.