CORDIS
EU research results

CORDIS

English EN

Broadband Superconducting Nanowire Single Photon Detectors

Objective

Single-photon detection is an emerging technology, with applications ranging from medical imaging and LIDAR systems to space communication and fundamental quantum optics. Moreover, single-photon detectors are considered an enabling technology for the development of quantum information science, paving the way for the realization of one of the main challenges of the 21st century: the quantum computer. Currently, single-photon detection is carried out using semiconductor-based avalanche photodiodes; however, this technology is limited by large timing jitter, unavoidable dark counts, after pulsing, and limited detection efficiency. A recently proposed alternative relies on a superconducting nanowire biased just below its critical current, so that an impinging photon triggers a transition from the superconducting to the normal state, resulting in a voltage spike at the nanowire leads. The detection efficiency can be boosted close to unity by coupling the superconducting nanowire to the evanescent field propagating in a waveguide. However, the fabrication of high quality, ultra-thin superconducting layers is challenging, and the operation wavelength of such devices is limited by the waveguide band gap. We have identified GaN/AlN as the best suited waveguide material system, approximately lattice matched with NbN, and with a transparent band from 400 to 6000 nm. The target of the SuSiPOD project is the establishment of a technology platform for the fabrication of a new generation of broadband superconducting nanowire single-photon detectors built on III-nitride waveguides, in which photons are coupled laterally with the help of a tapered optical fibre. This new geometry should allow near-unity absorption probability in a wide spectral range, since the substrate is transparent to visible and infrared light. The project success will be proven by the realization of a working prototype which will greatly outperform state-of-the-art single-photon detectors.
Leaflet | Map data © OpenStreetMap contributors, Credit: EC-GISCO, © EuroGeographics for the administrative boundaries

Coordinator

COMMISSARIAT A L ENERGIE ATOMIQUE ET AUX ENERGIES ALTERNATIVES

Address

Rue Leblanc 25
75015 Paris 15

France

Activity type

Research Organisations

EU Contribution

€ 173 076

Project information

Grant agreement ID: 657497

  • Start date

    1 July 2015

  • End date

    30 June 2017

Funded under:

H2020-EU.1.3.2.

  • Overall budget:

    € 173 076

  • EU contribution

    € 173 076

Coordinated by:

COMMISSARIAT A L ENERGIE ATOMIQUE ET AUX ENERGIES ALTERNATIVES

France