From Event: SPIE Commercial + Scientific Sensing and Imaging, 2018
Superconducting nanowire single photon detectors (SNSPDs) have emerged as a leading choice for high performance single photon detectors due to their low timing jitter, high detection efficiency, and low dark count rates. SNSPDs have typically been biased using a passive quenching scheme in which the bias current of the device is shunted through a resistive load to allow for recovery after a detection event. To prevent latching, the shunting resistor must be approximately an order of magnitude smaller than the peak normal domain resistance of the SNSPD. Consequentially, the pulse amplitude (∝IBRL) and recovery time (∝LK/RL) are both negatively impacted. In this talk, we will describe a novel approach to the bias and read-out of SNSPDs based upon active quenching. We will present detailed design considerations for an active quenching architecture and will show that such an approach has the potential to improve count rates while increasing signal swings to the point where external amplification is no longer required. A silicon germanium (SiGe) active-reset chip design has been designed, implemented, and integrated with a NbTiN SNSPD. The procedure for the SiGe chip design will be described and simulation results will be presented. Finally, detailed measurement results of the complete system will be shown and compared to measurements of the same detector when biased and read-out using a standard passive quenching scheme. It will be shown that the active quenching configuration enables a considerable enhancement to the system performance.
Prasana Ravindran and Joseph C. Bardin, "Active quenching: a new approach to the bias and readout of superconducting nanowire single photon detectors (Conference Presentation)," Proc. SPIE 10659, Advanced Photon Counting Techniques XII, 106590H (Presented at SPIE Commercial + Scientific Sensing and Imaging: April 19, 2018; Published: 14 May 2018); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2305131.5783307450001.
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