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Optics Express

Optics Express

  • Editor: Andrew M. Weiner
  • Vol. 21, Iss. 5 — Mar. 11, 2013
  • pp: 6442–6447
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Gold nanoparticle surface deposition induced quantum efficiency enhancement for Si-multi-pixel photon counters

Xiaomeng Wang, Min Song, Yan Liang, Zhiyuan Wang, Weibin Kong, Jianhua Huang, E Wu, Baotao Wu, Guang Wu, and Heping Zeng  »View Author Affiliations


Optics Express, Vol. 21, Issue 5, pp. 6442-6447 (2013)
http://dx.doi.org/10.1364/OE.21.006442


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Abstract

With recent development of nanotechnology, novel devices with nanostructures arise to improve the performance of photodetectors. Here, we demonstrated that by surface decoration with gold nanoparticles on the active area, the quantum detection efficiency of a multi-pixel photon counter was increased due to surface plasmon resonance enhancement. The deposited gold nano-particles actually brought about almost the same enhancement factor for any photon-number fields. As a result, the photon-number-resolving capability of the multi-pixel photon counter was well reserved with the gold nano-particle deposition induced efficiency augment. This result provides guidance to the development of the high-efficiency photon-number-resolving detectors.

© 2013 OSA

1. Introduction

Recent research shows that the application of metallic nanoparticles covers an increasing variety of fields due to the striking features of the materials in nanometer scale [1

1. C. L. Nehl, H. Liao, and J. H. Hafner, “Optical properties of star-shaped gold nanoparticles,” Nano Lett. 6(4), 683–688 (2006). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

7

7. G. Konstantatos and E. H. Sargent, “Nanostructured materials for photon detection,” Nat. Nanotechnol. 5(6), 391–400 (2010). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

]. Among all kinds of features, the surface plasmon resonance enhancement effects are well studied and implemented in different fields. In particular, Au or Ag nanoparticles have been used on the photovoltaic devices for plasmonic light harvesting [8

8. H. Tan, R. Santbergen, A. H. Smets, and M. Zeman, “Plasmonic light trapping in thin-film silicon solar cells with improved self-assembled silver nanoparticles,” Nano Lett. 12(8), 4070–4076 (2012). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

13

13. S. Kim, C. Cho, B. Kim, Y. Choi, S. Park, K. Lee, and S. Im, “The effect of localized surface plasmon on the photocurrent of silicon nanocrystal photodetectors,” Appl. Phys. Lett. 94(18), 183108 (2009). [CrossRef]

]. And these techniques can also be employed to improve the performance of single-photon detection. For instance, single plasmons on chip were used to increase the single-photon detection speed [14

14. R. W. Heeres, S. N. Dorenbos, B. Koene, G. S. Solomon, L. P. Kouwenhoven, and V. Zwiller, “On-chip single plasmon detection,” Nano Lett. 10(2), 661–664 (2010). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

]. The photon detection efficiency is one of the most important parameters of a single-photon detector, which is especially crucial in the quantum key distribution and photon-counting classical optical communication. The increase of the quantum detection efficiency can largely extend the communication distance. And with the advances in quantum information processing technique, single-photon detectors with photon-number-resolving capability are greatly in need. Multi-pixel photon counter (MPPC) is a recently developed photon-counting device, which is not only able to respond to a single photon but also capable of distinguishing the number of photons in each pulse. A typical MPPC consists of multiple Silicon avalanche photodiode (APD) pixels operating in Geiger mode. Each APD pixel of the MPPC produces an avalanche current pulse when it detects a photon. The output signal from the MPPC is the sum of the avalanche current from all APD pixels. The amplitude of the peak output voltage is proportional to the number of detected photons [15

15. A. Otte, B. Dolgoshein, J. Hose, S. Klemin, E. Lorenz, G. Lutz, R. Mirzoyan, E. Popova, R. Richter, L. Strüder, and M. Teshima, “Prospects of using silicon photomultipliers for the astroparticle physics experiments Euso and Magic,” IEEE Trans. Nucl. Sci. 53(2), 636–640 (2006). [CrossRef]

,16

16. D. A. Kalashnikov, S. H. Tan, M. V. Chekhova, and L. A. Krivitsky, “Accessing photon bunching with a photon number resolving multi-pixel detector,” Opt. Express 19(10), 9352–9363 (2011). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

]. At present, the quantum detection efficiency of MPPC is not as high as a single Si-APD mainly due to the relatively low filling factor of the active area, which limits its applications in quantum optics.

In this letter, we report on surface plasmon induced augment of the detection efficiency of a photon-number-resolving MPPC. The surface plasmon was generated by the Au nanoparticles deposited on the active area of the MPPC. The detection efficiency has been increased by about 2.76 times with appropriate deposition of Au nanoparticles on the surface of the active area of the silicon MPPC. The quantum detection efficiency augment resulted in no deleterious effects on the photon-number-resolving capability, manifesting that the deposited Au nano-particles brought about a linear response for the surface plasmon enhancement of the photon-number resolving detection. This result may find promising applications in the design of high-efficiency photon-number-resolving detectors.

2. Experiment section

In order to increase the detection efficiency of the MPPC at longer wavelengths since the photon-number resolving detection at near infrared wavelengths is quite interesting in quantum optics not only for open-air quantum cryptography but also for quantum storage using alkali metal atoms, we chose the Au nanoparticles with diameter of 200 nm (NanoSeedzTM, HongKong) due to its absorption peak in the near infrared. The Au nanoparticles deposited on the MPPC were about 200 nm in diameter as shown in Fig. 1(a)
Fig. 1 (a) Topographical images of a single Au nano-particle. (b) Extinction spectrum of Au nanoparticles with diameter of 200 nm in water solution.
. In general, the resonant peak of the metallic nanoparticle is dependent on the size and shape of the nano-particle and the surrounding environment. Figure 1(b) displays the extinction spectrum of the Au nanoparticles in deionized water solution. There is a resonance peak at 579 nm with a long tail up to 850 nm. The resonance peak could be red-shifted with the increase of the Au nanoparticle size [17

17. S. Berciaud, L. Cognet, P. Tamarat, and B. Lounis, “Observation of intrinsic size effects in the optical response of individual gold nanoparticles,” Nano Lett. 5(3), 515–518 (2005). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

,18

18. K. R. Catchpole and A. Polman, “Plasmonic solar cells,” Opt. Express 16(26), 21793–21800 (2008). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

]. A drop of 1 μL Au nanoparticle solution was directly deposited on the surface of the active area of the MPPC. When the water was dried away, the Au nanoparticles rested on the surface. As observed in an atomic force microscope (JPK NanoWizard II), each drop of 1 μL solution was dried to produce about 18 Au nanoparticles per 10 × 10 μm2 as shown in Fig. 2 (a)
Fig. 2 Topographical images the MPPC surface with different Au nano-particle densities of approximately 18 (a), 36 (b), and 72 (c) particles per 10 × 10 μm2.
. The density of the Au nanoparticles was changed by adding the solution each time after the device was totally dried. Figures 2 (a)-2(c) show the distribution of Au nanoparticles on the surface with different densities. At low densities, the nanoparticles were spread on the surface evenly, while the nanoparticles tended to bunch up with the increase of the nano-particle density as shown in Fig. 2(c).

The MPPC used in the experiment consisted of 10 × 10 Si-APD pixels with pixel size of 100 × 100 μm2 on the whole active area of 1 × 1 mm2 (S10362-11-100U, Hamamatsu). And the effective filling factor was 78.5% for the silicon APDs occupying the whole active area.

3. Conclusion

In conclusion, the detection efficiency of MPPC-based photon-number-resolving detector was enhanced by surface decoration with Au nanoparticles. The enhancement of the quantum detection efficiency originated from the surface plasmon resonance enhancement from the Au nanoparticles on the surface of the active area of the MPPC. Meanwhile the photon-number-resolving capability was well reserved. It is a proven technology by using metallic nanoparticles integrated with photodiodes to enhance photocurrent. Our results demonstrated that this technology could be further applied to single-photon detection. It provides a promising method for the design and fabrication of high-efficiency photon-number-resolving detectors with nanotechnique.

Acknowledgments

This work was funded in part by the National Nature Science Fund (11104079, 10990101, 61127014, and 91021014), International Cooperation Projects from Ministry of Science and Technology (2010DFA04410), the Research Fund for the Doctoral Program of Higher Education of China (20110076120019), and the Program of Introducing Talents of Discipline to Universities (B12024).

References and links

1.

C. L. Nehl, H. Liao, and J. H. Hafner, “Optical properties of star-shaped gold nanoparticles,” Nano Lett. 6(4), 683–688 (2006). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

2.

N. Large, J. Aizpurua, V. K. Lin, S. L. Teo, R. Marty, S. Tripathy, and A. Mlayah, “Plasmonic properties of gold ring-disk nano-resonators: fine shape details matter,” Opt. Express 19(6), 5587–5595 (2011). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

3.

K. Kelly, E. Coronado, L. Zhao, and G. Schatz, “The optical properties of metal nanoparticles: the influence of size, shape, and dielectric environment,” J. Phys. Chem. B 107(3), 668–677 (2003). [CrossRef]

4.

E. Wu, Y. Chi, B. Wu, K. Xia, Y. Yokota, K. Ueno, H. Misawa, and H. Zeng, “Spatial polarization sensitivity of single Au bowtie nanostructures,” J. Lumin. 131(9), 1971–1974 (2011). [CrossRef]

5.

Y. Chi, G. Chen, F. Jelezko, E. Wu, and H. Zeng, “Enhanced photoluminescence of single-photon emitters in nanodiamonds on a gold film,” IEEE Photon. Technol. Lett. 23(6), 374–376 (2011). [CrossRef]

6.

H. Stuart and D. Hall, “Island size effect in nanoparticle-enhanced photodetectors,” Appl. Phys. Lett. 73(26), 3815–3817 (1998). [CrossRef]

7.

G. Konstantatos and E. H. Sargent, “Nanostructured materials for photon detection,” Nat. Nanotechnol. 5(6), 391–400 (2010). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

8.

H. Tan, R. Santbergen, A. H. Smets, and M. Zeman, “Plasmonic light trapping in thin-film silicon solar cells with improved self-assembled silver nanoparticles,” Nano Lett. 12(8), 4070–4076 (2012). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

9.

P. Matheu, S. Lim, D. Derkacs, C. McPheeters, and E. Yu, “Metal and dielectric nanoparticle scattering for improved optical absorption in photovoltaic devices,” Appl. Phys. Lett. 93(11), 113108 (2008). [CrossRef]

10.

S. Lim, W. Mar, P. Matheu, D. Derkacs, and E. Yu, “Photocurrent spectroscopy of optical absorption enhancement in silicon photodiodes via scattering from surface plasmon polaritons in gold nanoparticles,” J. Appl. Phys. 101(10), 104309 (2007). [CrossRef]

11.

O. Guilatt, B. Apter, and U. Efron, “Light absorption enhancement in thin silicon film by embedded metallic nanoshells,” Opt. Lett. 35(8), 1139–1141 (2010). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

12.

C. Ho, D. Yeh, V. Su, C. Yang, P. Yang, M. Pu, C. Kuan, I. Cheng, and S. Lee, “Plasmonic multilayer nanoparticles enhanced photocurrent in thin film hydrogenated amorphous silicon solar cells,” J. Appl. Phys. 112(2), 023113 (2012). [CrossRef]

13.

S. Kim, C. Cho, B. Kim, Y. Choi, S. Park, K. Lee, and S. Im, “The effect of localized surface plasmon on the photocurrent of silicon nanocrystal photodetectors,” Appl. Phys. Lett. 94(18), 183108 (2009). [CrossRef]

14.

R. W. Heeres, S. N. Dorenbos, B. Koene, G. S. Solomon, L. P. Kouwenhoven, and V. Zwiller, “On-chip single plasmon detection,” Nano Lett. 10(2), 661–664 (2010). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

15.

A. Otte, B. Dolgoshein, J. Hose, S. Klemin, E. Lorenz, G. Lutz, R. Mirzoyan, E. Popova, R. Richter, L. Strüder, and M. Teshima, “Prospects of using silicon photomultipliers for the astroparticle physics experiments Euso and Magic,” IEEE Trans. Nucl. Sci. 53(2), 636–640 (2006). [CrossRef]

16.

D. A. Kalashnikov, S. H. Tan, M. V. Chekhova, and L. A. Krivitsky, “Accessing photon bunching with a photon number resolving multi-pixel detector,” Opt. Express 19(10), 9352–9363 (2011). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

17.

S. Berciaud, L. Cognet, P. Tamarat, and B. Lounis, “Observation of intrinsic size effects in the optical response of individual gold nanoparticles,” Nano Lett. 5(3), 515–518 (2005). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

18.

K. R. Catchpole and A. Polman, “Plasmonic solar cells,” Opt. Express 16(26), 21793–21800 (2008). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

19.

S. P. Sundararajan, N. K. Grady, N. Mirin, and N. J. Halas, “Nanoparticle-induced enhancement and suppression of photocurrent in a silicon photodiode,” Nano Lett. 8(2), 624–630 (2008). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

20.

T. Atay, J. Song, and A. Nurmikko, “Stronglyinteracting plasmon nanoparticle pairs: from dipole−dipole interaction to conductively coupled regime,” Nano Lett. 4(9), 1627–1631 (2004). [CrossRef]

21.

K. Su, Q. Wei, X. Zhang, J. J. Mock, D. R. Smith, and S. Schultz, “Interparticle coupling effects on plasmon resonances of nanogold particles,” Nano Lett. 3(8), 1087–1090 (2003). [CrossRef]

22.

J. B. Lassiter, J. Aizpurua, L. I. Hernandez, D. W. Brandl, I. Romero, S. Lal, J. H. Hafner, P. Nordlander, and N. J. Halas, “Close encounters between two nanoshells,” Nano Lett. 8(4), 1212–1218 (2008). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

23.

I. Romero, J. Aizpurua, G. W. Bryant, and F. J. García De Abajo, “Plasmons in nearly touching metallic nanoparticles: singular response in the limit of touching dimers,” Opt. Express 14(21), 9988–9999 (2006). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

OCIS Codes
(030.5260) Coherence and statistical optics : Photon counting
(040.5160) Detectors : Photodetectors
(040.1345) Detectors : Avalanche photodiodes (APDs)

ToC Category:
Detectors

History
Original Manuscript: January 2, 2013
Revised Manuscript: February 15, 2013
Manuscript Accepted: February 26, 2013
Published: March 7, 2013

Citation
Xiaomeng Wang, Min Song, Yan Liang, Zhiyuan Wang, Weibin Kong, Jianhua Huang, E Wu, Baotao Wu, Guang Wu, and Heping Zeng, "Gold nanoparticle surface deposition induced quantum efficiency enhancement for Si-multi-pixel photon counters," Opt. Express 21, 6442-6447 (2013)
http://www.opticsinfobase.org/oe/abstract.cfm?URI=oe-21-5-6442


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References

  1. C. L. Nehl, H. Liao, and J. H. Hafner, “Optical properties of star-shaped gold nanoparticles,” Nano Lett.6(4), 683–688 (2006). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  2. N. Large, J. Aizpurua, V. K. Lin, S. L. Teo, R. Marty, S. Tripathy, and A. Mlayah, “Plasmonic properties of gold ring-disk nano-resonators: fine shape details matter,” Opt. Express19(6), 5587–5595 (2011). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  3. K. Kelly, E. Coronado, L. Zhao, and G. Schatz, “The optical properties of metal nanoparticles: the influence of size, shape, and dielectric environment,” J. Phys. Chem. B107(3), 668–677 (2003). [CrossRef]
  4. E. Wu, Y. Chi, B. Wu, K. Xia, Y. Yokota, K. Ueno, H. Misawa, and H. Zeng, “Spatial polarization sensitivity of single Au bowtie nanostructures,” J. Lumin.131(9), 1971–1974 (2011). [CrossRef]
  5. Y. Chi, G. Chen, F. Jelezko, E. Wu, and H. Zeng, “Enhanced photoluminescence of single-photon emitters in nanodiamonds on a gold film,” IEEE Photon. Technol. Lett.23(6), 374–376 (2011). [CrossRef]
  6. H. Stuart and D. Hall, “Island size effect in nanoparticle-enhanced photodetectors,” Appl. Phys. Lett.73(26), 3815–3817 (1998). [CrossRef]
  7. G. Konstantatos and E. H. Sargent, “Nanostructured materials for photon detection,” Nat. Nanotechnol.5(6), 391–400 (2010). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  8. H. Tan, R. Santbergen, A. H. Smets, and M. Zeman, “Plasmonic light trapping in thin-film silicon solar cells with improved self-assembled silver nanoparticles,” Nano Lett.12(8), 4070–4076 (2012). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  9. P. Matheu, S. Lim, D. Derkacs, C. McPheeters, and E. Yu, “Metal and dielectric nanoparticle scattering for improved optical absorption in photovoltaic devices,” Appl. Phys. Lett.93(11), 113108 (2008). [CrossRef]
  10. S. Lim, W. Mar, P. Matheu, D. Derkacs, and E. Yu, “Photocurrent spectroscopy of optical absorption enhancement in silicon photodiodes via scattering from surface plasmon polaritons in gold nanoparticles,” J. Appl. Phys.101(10), 104309 (2007). [CrossRef]
  11. O. Guilatt, B. Apter, and U. Efron, “Light absorption enhancement in thin silicon film by embedded metallic nanoshells,” Opt. Lett.35(8), 1139–1141 (2010). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  12. C. Ho, D. Yeh, V. Su, C. Yang, P. Yang, M. Pu, C. Kuan, I. Cheng, and S. Lee, “Plasmonic multilayer nanoparticles enhanced photocurrent in thin film hydrogenated amorphous silicon solar cells,” J. Appl. Phys.112(2), 023113 (2012). [CrossRef]
  13. S. Kim, C. Cho, B. Kim, Y. Choi, S. Park, K. Lee, and S. Im, “The effect of localized surface plasmon on the photocurrent of silicon nanocrystal photodetectors,” Appl. Phys. Lett.94(18), 183108 (2009). [CrossRef]
  14. R. W. Heeres, S. N. Dorenbos, B. Koene, G. S. Solomon, L. P. Kouwenhoven, and V. Zwiller, “On-chip single plasmon detection,” Nano Lett.10(2), 661–664 (2010). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  15. A. Otte, B. Dolgoshein, J. Hose, S. Klemin, E. Lorenz, G. Lutz, R. Mirzoyan, E. Popova, R. Richter, L. Strüder, and M. Teshima, “Prospects of using silicon photomultipliers for the astroparticle physics experiments Euso and Magic,” IEEE Trans. Nucl. Sci.53(2), 636–640 (2006). [CrossRef]
  16. D. A. Kalashnikov, S. H. Tan, M. V. Chekhova, and L. A. Krivitsky, “Accessing photon bunching with a photon number resolving multi-pixel detector,” Opt. Express19(10), 9352–9363 (2011). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  17. S. Berciaud, L. Cognet, P. Tamarat, and B. Lounis, “Observation of intrinsic size effects in the optical response of individual gold nanoparticles,” Nano Lett.5(3), 515–518 (2005). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  18. K. R. Catchpole and A. Polman, “Plasmonic solar cells,” Opt. Express16(26), 21793–21800 (2008). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  19. S. P. Sundararajan, N. K. Grady, N. Mirin, and N. J. Halas, “Nanoparticle-induced enhancement and suppression of photocurrent in a silicon photodiode,” Nano Lett.8(2), 624–630 (2008). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  20. T. Atay, J. Song, and A. Nurmikko, “Stronglyinteracting plasmon nanoparticle pairs: from dipole−dipole interaction to conductively coupled regime,” Nano Lett.4(9), 1627–1631 (2004). [CrossRef]
  21. K. Su, Q. Wei, X. Zhang, J. J. Mock, D. R. Smith, and S. Schultz, “Interparticle coupling effects on plasmon resonances of nanogold particles,” Nano Lett.3(8), 1087–1090 (2003). [CrossRef]
  22. J. B. Lassiter, J. Aizpurua, L. I. Hernandez, D. W. Brandl, I. Romero, S. Lal, J. H. Hafner, P. Nordlander, and N. J. Halas, “Close encounters between two nanoshells,” Nano Lett.8(4), 1212–1218 (2008). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  23. I. Romero, J. Aizpurua, G. W. Bryant, and F. J. García De Abajo, “Plasmons in nearly touching metallic nanoparticles: singular response in the limit of touching dimers,” Opt. Express14(21), 9988–9999 (2006). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

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