9 December 2002 Superconducting single-photon detectors for GHz-rate free-space quantum communications
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Abstract
We report our studies on the performance of new NbN ultrathin-film superconducting single-photon detectors (SSPDs). Our SSPDs exhibit experimentally measured quantum efficiencies from ~ 5% at wavelength λ = 1550 nm up to ~10% at λ = 405 nm, with exponential, activation-energy-type spectral sensitivity dependence in the 0.4-μm - 3-μm wavelength range. Using a variable optical delay setup, we have shown that our NbN SSPDs can resolve optical photons with a counting rate up to 10 GHz, presently limited by the read-out electronics. The measured device jitter was below 35 ps under optimum biasing conditions. The extremely high photon counting rate, together with relatively high (especially for λ > 1 μm) quantum efficiency, low jitter, and very low dark counts, make NbN SSPDs very promising for free-space communications and quantum cryptography.
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Alexander A. Verevkin, Alexander A. Verevkin, Jin Zhang, Jin Zhang, Wojciech Slysz, Wojciech Slysz, Roman Sobolewski, Roman Sobolewski, Andrey P. Lipatov, Andrey P. Lipatov, O. Okunev, O. Okunev, G. Chulkova, G. Chulkova, A. Korneev, A. Korneev, Gregory N. Gol'tsman, Gregory N. Gol'tsman, "Superconducting single-photon detectors for GHz-rate free-space quantum communications", Proc. SPIE 4821, Free-Space Laser Communication and Laser Imaging II, (9 December 2002); doi: 10.1117/12.453542; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.453542
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