OSA's Digital Library

Optics Express

Optics Express

  • Editor: C. Martijn de Sterke
  • Vol. 20, Iss. 2 — Jan. 16, 2012
  • pp: 1608–1616

Gated mode superconducting nanowire single photon detectors

Mohsen K. Akhlaghi and A. Hamed Majedi  »View Author Affiliations

Optics Express, Vol. 20, Issue 2, pp. 1608-1616 (2012)

View Full Text Article

Enhanced HTML    Acrobat PDF (927 KB)

Browse Journals / Lookup Meetings

Browse by Journal and Year


Lookup Conference Papers

Close Browse Journals / Lookup Meetings

Article Tools



Single Photon Detectors are fundamental to quantum optics and quantum information. Superconducting nanowire detectors exhibit high performance in free-running mode, but have a limited maximum count rate. By exploiting a bistable superconducting nanowire system, we demonstrate the first gated-mode operation of these detectors for a large active area single element device at 625MHz, one order of magnitude faster than its free-running counterpart. We show the maximum count rate in gated-mode operation can be pushed to GHz range without a compromise on the active area or quantum efficiency, while reducing the dark count rate.

© 2012 OSA

OCIS Codes
(040.0040) Detectors : Detectors
(040.5570) Detectors : Quantum detectors
(270.5570) Quantum optics : Quantum detectors

ToC Category:

Original Manuscript: November 23, 2011
Revised Manuscript: December 28, 2011
Manuscript Accepted: December 30, 2011
Published: January 10, 2012

Mohsen K. Akhlaghi and A. Hamed Majedi, "Gated mode superconducting nanowire single photon detectors," Opt. Express 20, 1608-1616 (2012)

Sort:  Author  |  Year  |  Journal  |  Reset  


  1. G. N. Gol’tsman, O. Okunev, G. Chulkova, A. Lipatov, A. Semenov, K. Smirnov, B. Voronov, A. Dzardanov, C. Williams, and R. Sobolewski, “Picosecond superconducting single-photon optical detector,” Appl. Phys. Lett.79, 705–707 (2001). [CrossRef]
  2. R. H. Hadfield, “Single photon detectors for optical quantum information applications,” Nature Photon.3, 696–705 (2009). [CrossRef]
  3. S. Miki, M. Fujiwara, M. Sasaki, and Z. Wang, “Development of SNSPD system with Gifford-McMahon cryocooler,” IEEE Trans. Appl. Supercond.19, 332–335 (2009). [CrossRef]
  4. K. M. Rosfjord, J. K. W. Yang, E. A. Dauler, A. J. Kerman, V. Anant, B. M. Voronov, G. N. Gol’tsman, and K. K. Berggren, “Nanowire single-photon detector with an integrated optical cavity and anti-reflection coating,” Opt. Express14, 527–534 (2006). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  5. G. N. Gol’tsman, A. Korneev, I. Rubtsova, I. Milostnaya, G. Chulkova, O. Minaeva, K. Smirnov, B. Voronov, W. Slysz, A. Pearlman, A. Verevkin, and R. Sobolewski, “Ultrafast superconducting single-photon detectors for near-infrared-wavelength quantum communications,” Phys. Status Solidi C2, 1480–1488 (2005). [CrossRef]
  6. E. A. Dauler, A. J. Kerman, B. S. Robinson, J. K. W. Yang, B. Voronov, G. Goltsman, S. A. Hamilton, and K. K. Berggren, “Photon-number-resolution with sub-30-ps timing using multi-element superconducting nanowire single photon detectors,” J. Mod. Opt.56, 364–373 (2009). [CrossRef]
  7. A. Divochiy, F. Marsili, D. Bitauld, A. Gaggero, R. Leoni, F. Mattioli, A. Korneev, V. Seleznev, N. Kaurova, O. Minaeva, G. Gol’tsman, K. G. Lagoudakis, M. Benkhaoul, F. Lvy, and A. Fiore, “Superconducting nanowire photon-number-resolving detector at telecommunication wavelengths,” Nature Photon.2, 302–306 (2008). [CrossRef]
  8. H. Takesue, S. W. Nam, Q. Zhang, R. H. Hadfield, T. Honjo, K. Tamaki, and Y. Yamamoto, “Quantum key distribution over a 40-dB channel loss using superconducting single-photon detectors,” Nature Photon.1, 343–348 (2007). [CrossRef]
  9. M. E. Grein, A. J. Kerman, E. A. Dauler, O. Shatrovoy, R. J. Molnar, D. Rosenberg, J. Yoon, C. E. Devoe, D. V. Murphy, B. S. Robinson, and D. M. Boroson, “Design of a ground-based optical receiver for the lunar laser communications demonstration,” International Conference on Space Optical Systems and Applications, ICSOS’11, 78–82 (2011).
  10. J. Zhang, N. Boiadjieva, G. Chulkova, H. Deslandes, G. N. Gol’tsman, A. Korneev, P. Kouminov, M. Leibowitz, W. Lo, R. Malinsky, O. Okunev, A. Pearlman, W. Slysz, K. Smirnov, C. Tsao, A. Verevkin, B. Voronov, K. Wilsher, and R. Sobolewski, “Noninvasive CMOS circuit testing with NbN superconducting single-photon detectors,” Electron. Lett.39, 1086–1088 (2003). [CrossRef]
  11. M. J. Stevens, R. H. Hadfield, R. E. Schwall, S. W. Nam, R. P. Mirin, and J. A. Gupta, “Fast lifetime measurements of infrared emitters using a low-jitter superconducting single-photon detector,” Appl. Phys. Lett.89, 031109 (2006). [CrossRef]
  12. A. J. Kerman, E. A. Dauler, W. E. Keicher, J. K. W. Yang, K. K. Berggren, G. Gol’tsman, and B. Voronov, “Kinetic-inductance-limited reset time of superconducting nanowire photon counters,” Appl. Phys. Lett.88, 111116 (2006). [CrossRef]
  13. W. J. Skocpol, M. R. Beasley, and M. Tinkham, “Self-heating hotspots in superconducting thin-film microbridges,” J. Appl. Phys.45, 4054–4066 (1974). [CrossRef]
  14. A. V. Gurevich and R. G. Mints, “Self-heating in normal metals and superconductors,” Rev. Mod. Phys.59, 941–999 (1987). [CrossRef]
  15. A. J. Kerman, J. K. W. Yang, R. J. Molnar, E. A. Dauler, and K. K. Berggren, “Electrothermal feedback in superconducting nanowire single-photon detectors,” Phys. Rev. B79, 100509(R) (2009). [CrossRef]
  16. A. J. Annunziata, O. Quaranta, D. F. Santavicca, A. Casaburi, L. Frunzio, M. Ejrnaes, M. J. Rooks, R. Cristiano, S. Pagano, A. Frydman, and D. E. Prober, “Reset dynamics and latching in niobium superconducting nanowire single-photon detectors,” J. Appl. Phys.108, 084507 (2010). [CrossRef]
  17. S. Miki, M. Takeda, M. Fujiwara, M. Sasaki, A. Otomo, and Z. Wang, “Superconducting NbTiN nanowire single photon detectors with low kinetic inductance,” Appl. Phys. Express2, 075002 (2009). [CrossRef]
  18. A. J. Annunziata, D. F. Santavicca, J. D. Chudow, L. Frunzio, M. J. Rooks, A. Frydman, and D. E. Prober, “Niobium superconducting nanowire single-photon detectors,” IEEE Trans. Appl. Supercond.19(3), 327–331 (2009). [CrossRef]
  19. H. Shibata, H. Takesue, T. Honjo, T. Akazaki, and Y. Tokura, “Single-photon detection using magnesium diboride superconducting nanowires,” Appl. Phys. Lett.97, 212504 (2010). [CrossRef]
  20. M. Ejrnaes, A. Casaburi, R. Cristiano, O. Quaranta, S. Marchetti, and S. Pagano, “Maximum count rate of large area superconducting single photon detectors,” J. Mod. Optics56, 390–394 (2009). [CrossRef]
  21. Y. Korneeva, I. Florya, A. Semenov, A. Korneev, and G. Goltsman, “New generation of nanowire NbN superconducting single-photon detector for mid-infrared,” IEEE Trans. Appl. Supercond.21, 323–326 (2011). [CrossRef]
  22. M. Tarkhov, J. Claudon, J. P. Poizat, A. Korneev, A. Divochiy, O. Minaeva, V. Seleznev, N. Kaurova, B. Voronov, A. V. Semenov, and G. Gol’tsman, “Ultrafast reset time of superconducting single photon detectors,” Appl. Phys. Lett.92, 241112 (2008). [CrossRef]
  23. X. Hu, E. A. Dauler, R. J. Molnar, and K. K. Berggren, “Superconducting nanowire single-photon detectors integrated with optical nano-antennae,” Opt. Express19, 17–31 (2011). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  24. E. Knill, R. Laflamme, and G. J. Milburn, “A scheme for efficient quantum computation with linear optics,” Nature409, 46–52 (2001). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  25. M. Ren, X. Gu, Y. Liang, W. Kong, E. Wu, G. Wu, and H. Zeng, “Laser ranging at 1550 nm with 1-GHz sine-wave gated InGaAs/InP APD single-photon detector,” Opt. Express19, 13497–13502 (2011). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  26. G. Gol’tsman, O. Minaeva, A. Korneev, M. Tarkhov, I. Rubtsova, A. Divochiy, I. Milostnaya, G. Chulkova, N. Kaurova, B. Voronov, D. Pan, J. Kitaygorsky, A. Cross, A. Pearlman, I. Komissarov, W. Slysz, M. Wegrzecki, P. Grabiec, and R. Sobolewski, “Middle-infrared to visible-light ultrafast superconducting single-photon detectors,” IEEE Trans. Appl. Supercond.17, 246–251 (2007). [CrossRef]
  27. M. K. Akhlaghi, A. H. Majedi, and J. S. Lundeen, “Nonlinearity in single photon detection: modeling and quantum tomography,” Opt. Express19, 21305–21312 (2011). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  28. J. K. W. Yang, A. J. Kerman, E. A. Dauler, V. Anant, K. M. Rosfjord, and K. K. Berggren, “Modeling the electrical and thermal response of superconducting nanowire single-photon detectors,” IEEE Trans Appl. Supercond.17, 581–585 (2007). [CrossRef]
  29. R. C. Taber and C. A. Flory, “Microwave oscillators incorporating cryogenic sapphire dielectric resonators,” IEEE Trans. Ultrason., Ferroelectr., Freq. Control42, 111–119 (1995). [CrossRef]
  30. V. B. Braginsky, V. S. Ilchenko, and K. S. Bagdassarov, “Experimental observation of fundamental microwave absorption in high-quality dielectric crystals,” Phys. Lett. A120, 300–305 (1987). [CrossRef]

Cited By

Alert me when this paper is cited

OSA is able to provide readers links to articles that cite this paper by participating in CrossRef's Cited-By Linking service. CrossRef includes content from more than 3000 publishers and societies. In addition to listing OSA journal articles that cite this paper, citing articles from other participating publishers will also be listed.


Fig. 1 Fig. 2 Fig. 3
Fig. 4

« Previous Article  |  Next Article »

OSA is a member of CrossRef.

CrossCheck Deposited