Sensitivity, dynamic range and detection efficiency are among the key figures of merit for 1550 nm wavelength detectors that find applications in communications, sensing, and imaging. Some fundamental material and device limits have added tremendous difficulties for a single device to achieve high sensitivity and dynamic range without significant trade-offs. We present a concept that can potentially overcome this performance bottleneck. Preliminary results have shown a sensitivity of 10 photons (six photons from the quantum limit) and a large dynamic range (in the sense that output increases monotonically with input). The concept opens up a new avenue for detecting single photons in non-Geiger-mode with near 100% detection efficiency.
© 2013 Optical Society of America
Original Manuscript: June 18, 2013
Revised Manuscript: August 20, 2013
Manuscript Accepted: September 4, 2013
Published: October 11, 2013
Samia Nawar Rahman, David Hall, Zhe Mei, and Yu-Hwa Lo, "Integrated 1550 nm photoreceiver with built-in amplification and feedback mechanisms," Opt. Lett. 38, 4166-4169 (2013)