Nanophotonic integrated circuits are emerging as a promising platform for quantum photonics. A key building block are waveguide integrated detectors with superior performance. Detectors based on superconductor nanowires (SNSPDs) attached to optical waveguides have been shown to provide high efficiency and good timing performance, as well as broad bandwidth. To move towards applications in high bandwidth quantum communication and processing, ultrafast single-photon detectors with high efficiency are needed. The speed of meander type SNSPDs is limited because the required high absorption efficiency necessitates long nanowires deposited on top of the waveguide. This enhances the kinetic inductance and makes the detectors slow. We overcome this problem by aligning the nanowire perpendicular to the waveguide to realize devices with a length below 1 µm. By integrating the nanowire into a photonic crystal cavity, we recover high absorption efficiency, thus enhancing the detection efficiency by more than an order of magnitude. Our cavity enhanced superconducting nanowire detectors are fully embedded in silicon nanophotonic circuits and efficiently detect single photons at telecom wavelengths. The detectors possess sub-nanosecond decay (~ 120 ps) and recovery times (~ 510 ps), and thus show potential for GHz count rates at low timing jitter (~ 32 ps).
Wolfram Pernice and Simone Ferrari, "Ultrafast single photon detectors (Conference Presentation)," Proc. SPIE 10353, Optical Sensing, Imaging, and Photon Counting: Nanostructured Devices and Applications 2017, 1035308 (Presented at SPIE Nanoscience + Engineering: August 09, 2017; Published: 11 October 2017); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2273354.5606324786001.
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