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

Korzh, Boris and Zhao, Qing-Yuan and Allmaras, Jason P. and Frasca, Simone and Autry, Travis M. and Bersin, Eric A. and Beyer, Andrew D. and Briggs, Ryan M. and Bumble, Bruce and Colangelo, Marco and Crouch, Garrison M. and Dane, Andrew E. and Gerrits, Thomas and Lita, Adriana E. and Marsili, Francesco and Moody, Galan and Peña, Cristián and Ramirez, Edward and Rezac, Jake D. and Sinclair, Neil and Stevens, Martin J. and Velasco, Angel E. and Verma, Varun B. and Wollman, Emma E. and Xie, Si and Zhu, Di and Hale, Paul D. and Spiropulu, Maria and Silverman, Kevin L. and Mirin, Richard P. and Nam, Sae Woo and Kozorezov, Alexander G. and Shaw, Matthew D. and Berggren, Karl K. (2020) Demonstration of sub-3 ps temporal resolution with a superconducting nanowire single-photon detector. Nature Photonics, 14 (4). pp. 250-255. ISSN 1749-4885.

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[img] PDF (Supplementary Notes 1–3, Figs. 1–4 and Table 1) - Supplemental Material
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[img] Image (JPEG) (Extended Data Fig. 2: Experimental setup for relative latency and jitter characterization) - Supplemental Material
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[img] Image (JPEG) (Extended Data Fig. 3: Relative latency and jitter measurements with WSi) - Supplemental Material
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[img] Image (JPEG) (Extended Data Fig. 4: Slew rate independence on illumination wavelength) - Supplemental Material
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[img] Image (JPEG) (Extended Data Fig. 5: Few-photon laser ranging demonstration) - Supplemental Material
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[img] Image (JPEG) (Extended Data Fig. 6: Time of arrival histograms with a translating mirror) - Supplemental Material
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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 of investigations into the timescales 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 specialized niobium nitride 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 1,550 nm.

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URLURL TypeDescription ReadCube access Paper
Korzh, Boris0000-0002-8262-9720
Allmaras, Jason P.0000-0001-9621-289X
Frasca, Simone0000-0002-3741-2215
Wollman, Emma E.0000-0002-5474-3745
Xie, Si0000-0003-2509-5731
Spiropulu, Maria0000-0001-8172-7081
Alternate Title:Demonstrating sub-3 ps temporal resolution in a superconducting nanowire single-photon detector
Additional Information:© 2020 Springer Nature Limited. Received 21 September 2019; Accepted 09 January 2020; Published 02 March 2020. Part of the research was performed at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), California Institute of Technology, under contract with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). Support for this work was provided in part by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, Defense Sciences Office, through the Detect programme and the National Science Foundation under grant number ECCS-1509486. E.A.B., A.E.D., G.M.C. and J.P.A. acknowledge partial support from the NASA Space Technology Research Fellowship programme. E.R. acknowledges support from the MARC-U*STAR programme. D.Z. acknowledges support from the A*STAR National Science Scholarship. M.S., S.X. and C.P. acknowledge partial and N.S. full support from the Alliance for Quantum Technologies’ (AQT) Intelligent Quantum Networks and Technologies (INQNET) research programme. M.S., C.P. and S.X. acknowledge partial support from the Department of Energy, High Energy Physics QuantISED programme grant, QCCFP (Quantum Communication Channels for Fundamental Physics), award number DE-SC0019219. C.P. acknowledges partial support from the Fermilab’s Lederman Fellowship. We thank P. Day, B. Putnam, D. Santavicca, J. Breffke, W. Becker and W. Rippard for valuable discussions and loan of measurement equipment as well as JPL and Caltech staff for technical support. The use of trade names is intended to allow the measurements to be appropriately interpreted and does not imply endorsement by the US government, nor does it imply these are necessarily the best available for the purpose used here. Data availability: The data that support the plots within this paper and other findings of this study are available from the corresponding author upon reasonable request. Author Contributions: B.K. and Q.-Y.Z. conceived and designed the experiments. B.K., Q.-Y.Z., S.F., J.P.A., E.R., E.A.B., M.J.S., T.M.A., G.M., M.C., C.P., N.S., A.E.V., V.B.V., S.X., D.Z. and A.E.D. performed the experiments. B.K., S.F. and J.P.A. analysed the data. J.P.A. carried out the simulations. B.K., Q.-Y.Z., S.F., E.A.B., T.G., M.J.S., T.M.A., G.M., M.C., A.D.B., B.B., R.M.B., C.P., N.S., A.E.L., A.E.V., V.B.V., S.X., D.Z., A.E.D., E.E.W., G.M.C., J.P.A., J.D.R., P.D.H., K.L.S., R.P.M., M.S., S.W.N., F.M., A.G.K., M.D.S. and K.K.B. contributed materials/analysis tools. B.K., Q.-Y.Z., J.P.A. and M.D.S. wrote the paper with input from all authors. The authors declare no competing interests.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA)UNSPECIFIED
NASA Space Technology Research FellowshipUNSPECIFIED
Maximizing Access to Research Careers (MARC)UNSPECIFIED
Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR)UNSPECIFIED
Intelligent Quantum Networks and Technologies (INQNET)UNSPECIFIED
Department of Energy (DOE)DE-SC0019219
Subject Keywords:Imaging and sensing; Nanowires; Optical sensors; Single photons and quantum effects; Superconducting devices
Issue or Number:4
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20180924-132855200
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Official Citation:Korzh, B., Zhao, Q., Allmaras, J.P. et al. Demonstration of sub-3 ps temporal resolution with a superconducting nanowire single-photon detector. Nat. Photonics 14, 250–255 (2020).
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:89890
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:24 Sep 2018 22:49
Last Modified:30 Mar 2020 17:45

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