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Infrared superconducting single-photon detectors

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  1. Infrared superconducting single-photon detectors Robert Hadfield Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh, UK Chandra MouliNatarajan, Mike Tanner, John O’Connor Heriot-Watt University, UK BurmBaek, Marty Stevens, Sae Woo Nam NIST, USA Shigehito Miki, Zhen Wang, Masahide Sasaki NICT, Japan Sander Dorenbos, Val ZwillerTU Delft, The Netherlands Jonathan Habif, Chip Elliot BBN Technologies, USA HirokeTakesueNTT, Japan Qiang Zhang, Yoshihisa Yamamoto Stanford, USA Alberto Peruzzo, Damien Bonneau, MirkoLobino, Mark Thompson, Jeremy O’Brien U. Bristol, UK

  2. Infrared superconducting single-photon detectors • Introduction to photon counting • Superconducting nanowire single photon detectors (SNSPDs): device concept and evolution. • Applications of SNSPDs in quantum information science: measurements of quantum emitters, quantum key distribution, quantum waveguide circuits. • Outlook: challenges and opportunities for this technology. Robert Hadfield – RIT Detector Virtual Workshop 2011

  3. What is a Photon? • The term ‘Photon’ coined in 1926 following Einstein’s explanation of the photoelectric effect. Quantum of electromagnetic radiation E=hn. Robert Hadfield – RIT Detector Virtual Workshop 2011

  4. What is a Photon? • The term ‘Photon’ coined in 1926 following Einstein’s explanation of the photoelectric effect. Quantum of electromagnetic radiation E=hn. • Some prominent detractors: • Willis Lamb ‘Anti-Photon’ Appl. Phys. B 60 77 (1995) Indian Proverb: Six wise men went to see an elephant (though all of them were blind).. Robert Hadfield – RIT Detector Virtual Workshop 2011

  5. What is a Photon? • The term ‘Photon’ coined in 1926 following Einstein’s explanation of the photoelectric effect. Quantum of electromagnetic radiation E=hn. • Some prominent detractors: • Willis Lamb ‘Anti-Photon’ Appl. Phys. B 60 77 (1995) • The following definition appears to cut the Gordian Knot: • ‘A photon is what a photodetector detects’ (Roy Glauber) Robert Hadfield – RIT Detector Virtual Workshop 2011

  6. Photon-counting detectors • Human eyes are sensitive down to the (few) photon level. • Photomultipliers photocathode + dynode multiplication • Semiconductor single-photon avalanche photodiodes (SPADs) • Superconductors numerous detector examples, including superconducting nanowires Robert Hadfield – RIT Detector Virtual Workshop 2011

  7. Photon-counting detectors • Human eyes are sensitive down to the (few) photon level. • Photomultipliers photocathode + dynode multiplication • Semiconductor single-photon avalanche photodiodes (SPADs) • Superconductors numerous detector examples, including superconducting nanowires Robert Hadfield – RIT Detector Virtual Workshop 2011

  8. Photon-counting detectors • Human eyes are sensitive down to the (few) photon level. • Photomultipliers photocathode + dynode multiplication • Semiconductor single-photon avalanche photodiodes (SPADs) • Superconductors numerous detector examples, including superconducting nanowires Robert Hadfield – RIT Detector Virtual Workshop 2011

  9. Photon-counting detectors • Human eyes are sensitive down to the (few) photon level. • Photomultipliers photocathode + dynode multiplication • Semiconductor single-photon avalanche photodiodes (SPADs) • Superconductors numerous detector examples, including superconducting nanowires Robert Hadfield – RIT Detector Virtual Workshop 2011

  10. Single-photon detectors & applications Astronomy Applications Life Sciences FLIM/FRET Quantum Optics Free space comms and LIDAR Quantum cryptography in fibre IC Testing Atmospheric Sensing Wavelength Photomultipliers IR PMTs Detectors InGaAs SPADs Si SPADs Superconducting detectors Robert Hadfield – RIT Detector Virtual Workshop 2011

  11. Characteristics of single-photon detectors • High quantum detection efficiency at wavelength of interest. • Probability of noise-triggered ‘dark counts’ low. • Time between detection of photon and generation of electrical signal should be constant – low jitter. • Short recovery time (‘dead time’). • Ability to resolve photon number. Review article: Hadfield RH ‘Single-photon detectors for optical quantum information applications’ Nature Photonics 3 (12) 696 (2009) Robert Hadfield – RIT Detector Virtual Workshop 2011

  12. Considerable scope for further improvements! Superconducting nanowire single photon detectors (SSPDs or SNSPDs) • Key Properties: • Wide spectral range (visible – mid IR) • Free running (no gating required) • Low dark counts • Low timing jitter • Short recovery time Gol’tsmanet al Applied Physics Letters 79705 (2001) Robert Hadfield – RIT Detector Virtual Workshop 2011

  13. Incident Photon Bias Current Bias Current Bias Current Bias Current → Voltage Drop = 0 R = 0 R > 0 Current density above critical Hot spot (R > 0) Hot spot (R > 0) 3.5 nm 100 nm Superconducting nanowire single-photon detector T~ 4K Sapphire substrate NbN Gol’tsmanet al., Applied Physics Letters 79, 705 (2001) Robert Hadfield – RIT Detector Virtual Workshop 2011

  14. V(t) Superconducting nanowire single-photon detector T~ 4K Bias Current Reduced Sapphire substrate →Voltage Pulse Out R > 0 Hotspot Growth NbN Gol’tsmanet al., Applied Physics Letters 79, 705 (2001) Robert Hadfield – RIT Detector Virtual Workshop 2011

  15. Bias Current V(t) Superconducting nanowire single-photon detector Bias current suppressed Sapphire substrate NbN • Recovery: • Hotspot shrinks as heat is dissipated into substrate • Current builds up limited by inductance of nanowire Robert Hadfield – RIT Detector Virtual Workshop 2011

  16. Single wire Meander 100 nm wide wire, ~10 mm x 10 mm area 100 nm wide wire, ~5 mm long Gol’tsman APL 2001 Verevkin APL 2002 Evolution of SNSPD design Efficient optical coupling is a challenge: Practical detection efficiency = coupling efficiency x intrinsic quantum efficiency => Increase active area Robert Hadfield – RIT Detector Virtual Workshop 2011

  17. Optical Cavity Meander nanowire 100 nm wide wire, ~10 mm x 10 mm area Light substrate mirror Rosfjord OX 2006 Verevkin APL 2002 Evolution of SNSPD design Next step: Practical detection efficiency = coupling efficiency x intrinsic quantum efficiency => Boost absorption to increase intrinsic QE Robert Hadfield – RIT Detector Virtual Workshop 2011

  18. Evolution of SNSPD design Single wire Optical Cavity Increase absorption Meander Increase coupling Practical detection efficiency low Best reported intrinsic efficiency 57% at 1550 nm Max intrinsic efficiency ~20% at 1550 nm Robert Hadfield – RIT Detector Virtual Workshop 2011

  19. Other developments in SNSPD design Photon number resolution with spatial multiplexing (SINPHONIA, MIT) Dichovy et al Nature Photonics 2008 Dauler et al J. Modern Optics 2009 SNSPDs on Si substrates (Delft) Detector embedded in waveguide (MIT, Yale, TUe) Dorenbos et al APL 2008 Hu IEEE Trans Appl. Supercon. 2009; SprengersarXiv 1108.5107; PernicearXiv 1108.5299 Robert Hadfield – RIT Detector Virtual Workshop 2011

  20. Superconducting nanowire single-photon detector system • High efficiency SNSPDs from TU Delft • Tanner et al Applied Physics Letters 96 221109 (2010) • 4 or more fiber-coupled SNSPDs can be implemented into a practical, closed-cycle refrigerator system • Hadfield et al Optics Express 13 (26) 10864 (2005) SNSPD system at Heriot-Watt Robert Hadfield – RIT Detector Virtual Workshop 2011

  21. Superconducting nanowire single-photon detector system: practical performance Tanner et al Applied Physics Letters 96 221109 (2010) Robert Hadfield – RIT Detector Virtual Workshop 2011

  22. Quantum information science with single photons • Quantum systems can be used to encode and manipulate information. • QIST promises dramatic improvements in secure communications metrology, and computation. • In principle many candidate quantum systems (trapped ions, spins in semiconductor quantum dots, superconducting circuits..) • Optical photon makes an ideal ‘flying qubit’ • Photons have low decoherence even at room temperature, easy to route and manipulate |0+|1 e.g. polarization of photon

  23. Superconducting single-photon photon detectors for quantum information science • Faithful detection of single photons is a key challenge. Hadfield Nature Photonics 3 (12) 696 (2009) • Superconducting nanowire single-photon detectors (SSPDs or SNSPDs) have are an important emerging photon-counting technology. • SNSPDs have an important role in new QIS applications: Characterization of quantum emitters Quantum Key Distribution (QKD) Operation of quantum waveguide circuits Robert Hadfield – RIT Detector Virtual Workshop 2011

  24. Instrument Responses Decays Characterization of quantum emitters Ti:Sapphire Laser 1 ps, 780 nm Fast Photodiode TAC/MCA Timing Electronics Start BS 82 MHz Mono- chromator @ 935 nm Fiber Stop SSPD Dichroic BS Sample Sample InGaAs/GaAs QW, Room Temp Cryostat Stevens et al Applied Physics Letters 89 031109 (2006)

  25. Quantum dot single-photon sources for quantum information science applications • Self-assembled quantum dots in III-V semiconductor are a promising source of single photons for optical QIS. • Michleret al Nature 290 2282 (2001) • Single photon emission is verified by g(2)(0) measurement. • These measurements were on emitters at l ~900 nm; SNSPDs would also enable measurements on telecom wavelength single-photon sources Hadfield et al Optics Express 13 10846 (2005) Hadfield et al Journal of Applied Physics 101 103104 (2007)

  26. Long wavelength characterization of quantum emitters using SNSPDs • Si single photon avalanche photodiodes do not work at l>1 mm. • SNSPDs can be used for characterization of long wavelength emitters. InGaAs grown on InP lDetect = 1650 nm Stevens et al Applied Physics Letters 89 031109 (2006) • These measurements were carried out on semiconductor single-photon emitters; this technique would be equally applicable to studies of single photon emission from diamond defect centers, FLIM and FRET for single molecules and singlet oxygen detection. Robert Hadfield – RIT Detector Virtual Workshop 2011

  27. Quantum Key Distribution (Bennett & Brassard, 1984) hn Alice Bob Eve R. Liechtenstein • Quantum Key Distribution is a method for two parties (‘Alice’ and ‘Bob’) to create a ‘key’ for encrypting subsequent messages. • Information encoded on single photons via phase or polarization • Any attempted eavesdropping introduces errors and is therefore detectable. Robert Hadfield – RIT Detector Virtual Workshop 2011

  28. Dark count rate / Sifted bit rate Fixed ~1% 11 % Log(Key Rate) Sifted QBER Secret Distance Distance Quantum Key Distribution – range limitations • Above a certain error rate (QBER) threshold, secure key can no longer be generated. • There are two contributions to the error rate (QBER): • QBER total = QBER interferometer + QBER dark counts • As the transmission distance increases, the number of detected bits falls, so the error rate rises, causing the secret bit rate to eventually fall to zero. Robert Hadfield - Heriot-Watt Quantum Photonics Workshop

  29. Superconducting nanowire single-photon detectors in Quantum Key Distribution Superconducting nanowire single-photon detectors: benefits for QKD in optical fibre: - Single-photon sensitivity at 1550 nm - Low dark counts - Low timing jitter - Gaussian instrument response function =>Long distances =>High bit rates Robert Hadfield – RIT Detector Virtual Workshop 2011

  30. First QKD demonstration with SNSPDs in the DARPA quantum network • A collaboration between NIST and BBN Technologies (Jonathan Habif, Chip Elliot) sponsored by the DARPA QuIST programme. • First prototype SNSPD system delivered to BBN end 2005. Clock rate 3.3 MHz Bob 42.5 km spool Alice (behind) Bit rate (bits/s) 25 km spool Link loss (dB) SNSPD Closed-cycle system Hadfield et al Applied Physics Letters 89 241199 (2006)

  31. World record result for long distance QKD in optical fiber using SNSPDs • Demonstration carried out end 2006 in Yamamoto lab, Stanford University (Stanford/NTT/NIST) • 10 GHz clocked QKD system at l= 1550 nm using superconducting detectors 10 GHz 1 GHz Takesue et al Nature Photonics 1 343 (2007) Robert Hadfield – RIT Detector Virtual Workshop 2011

  32. New directions in QKD: ground to space • Vision of European Space Agency SpaceQUEST topical team • (led by Prof. Anton Zeilinger, University of Vienna): • QKD from the International Space Station (ISS). Photon flux Role for SNSPDs? Microlens array Cavity enhanced nanowire pixels R Ursin et al Europhysics News 40 (3) 26 2009 Robert Hadfield – RIT Detector Virtual Workshop 2011

  33. Quantum waveguide circuits Jeremy O’Brien, University of Bristol Optical waveguide circuits can be used to replace conventional optics. Politiet al Science 320 5876 (2008) Robert Hadfield – RIT Detector Virtual Workshop 2011

  34. SNSPDs Operating quantum waveguide circuits with SNSPDs SMF BiBO Waveguide Circuit μm actuator c with Jeremy O’Brien, University of Bristol, UK d a b CW laser, 402nm, 60mW Filter TCSPC Card 804nm photon pairs PMF Robert Hadfield – RIT Detector Virtual Workshop 2011

  35. Operating quantum waveguide circuits with SNSPDs: initial experiments at l=805 nm • First generation quantum waveguide circuits: silica on silicon waveguides, downconversion pair source at l=850 nm (as used in Politiet al Science 320 5876 (2008)) • SNSPDs replace Si SPADs • Demonstrations: • -Two photon interference (Hong-Ou-Mandel dip) • -Tuned two phonon interference with resistive phase shift • -CNOT gate F=90.4% VSNSPD 92.3 % Natarajanet al AppliedPhysicsLetters96211101 (2010) Robert Hadfield – RIT Detector Virtual Workshop 2011

  36. Operating quantum waveguide circuits with SNSPDs: migrating to telecom wavelengths • First generation quantum waveguide circuits: silica on silicon waveguides, downconversion pair source at l=850 nm and Si SPAD detectors Politiet al Science 320 5876 (2008) • A much wider range of high performance waveguide components (compact low loss waveguides, high speed switches and modulators) • SNSPDs allow operation of next generation quantum waveguide circuits at 1550 nm. • Recent reports show that SNSPDs can also be integrated on-chip with the waveguide. This is crucial for the scalabilty of circuits in demanding applications such as optical quantum computing. Robert Hadfield – RIT Detector Virtual Workshop 2011

  37. Heralded source with fast lithium niobate switch Switching efficiency MZI driven with a 4 ns rising time pulse Bonneauet al Fast path and polarization manipulation of telecom wavelength single photons in lithium niobate waveguide devices arXiv 1107.3476 (2011)

  38. Fast switching of quantum interference Signal generator C1 C2 a c b d SPDC q= 0 q =p/2 Countinglogic C2 Countinglogicwithtogglebetweentwoseparatecounters Square waves 4MHz C1 Bonneauet al Fast path and polarization manipulation of telecom wavelength single photons in lithium niobate waveguide devices arXiv 1107.3476 (2011)

  39. Infrared superconducting single-photon detectorsOutlook Superconducting nanowire single-photon detectors (SNSPDs) offer very good practical performance at telecom wavelengths and have successfully been used in challenging quantum information science experiments. Prospects and challenges for SNSPD development: • Achieving high efficiency at mid IR wavelengths • Reducing the timing jitter • Increasing the active area • Integrating devices on-chip with optical and electrical elements (optical waveguide circuits, readout electronics) Potential breakthroughs: • Large area single photon detectors/detector arrays with high efficiency, picosecond timing resolution and gigahertz count rates from UV to mid IR wavelengths • Adoption in new application areas: quantum communications and computing, LiDAR, astronomy, life sciences, integrated circuit testing Robert Hadfield – RIT Detector Virtual Workshop 2011