Superconducting nanowire single-photon detectors: physics and applications

Natarajan, C.M., Tanner, M.G. and Hadfield, R. (2012) Superconducting nanowire single-photon detectors: physics and applications. Superconductor Science and Technology, 25(6), 063001. (doi: 10.1088/0953-2048/25/6/063001)

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Single-photon detectors based on superconducting nanowires (SSPDs or SNSPDs) have rapidly emerged as a highly promising photon-counting technology for infrared wavelengths. These devices offer high efficiency, low dark counts and excellent timing resolution. In this review, we consider the basic SNSPD operating principle and models of device behaviour. We give an overview of the evolution of SNSPD device design and the improvements in performance which have been achieved. We also evaluate device limitations and noise mechanisms. We survey practical refrigeration technologies and optical coupling schemes for SNSPDs. Finally we summarize promising application areas, ranging from quantum cryptography to remote sensing. Our goal is to capture a detailed snapshot of an emerging superconducting detector technology on the threshold of maturity.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Hadfield, Professor Robert and Tanner, Dr Michael
Authors: Natarajan, C.M., Tanner, M.G., and Hadfield, R.
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > School of Engineering > Electronics and Nanoscale Engineering
Journal Name:Superconductor Science and Technology
Publisher:Institute of Physics
ISSN (Online):1361-6668
Published Online:04 April 2012
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2012 IOP Publishing Ltd
First Published:First published in Superconductor Science and Technology 25(6):063001
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License

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