Multi-element superconducting nanowire single photon detectors
Author(s)Dauler, Eric A. (Eric Anthony), 1980-
Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science.
Karl K. Berggren.
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Single-photon-detector arrays can provide unparalleled performance and detailed information in applications that require precise timing and single photon sensitivity. Such arrays have been demonstrated using a number of single-photon-detector technologies, but the high performance of superconducting nanowire single photon detectors (SNSPDs) and the unavoidable overhead of cryogenic cooling make SNSPDs particularly likely to be used in applications that require detectors with the highest performance available. These applications are also the most likely to benefit from and fully utilize the large amount of information and performance advantages provided by a single-photon-detector array.Although the performance advantages of individual superconducting nanowire single photon detectors (SNSPDs) have been investigated since their first demonstration in 2001, the advantages gained by building arrays of multiple SNSPDs may be even more unique among single photon detector technologies. First, the simplicity and nanoscale dimensions of these detectors make it possible to easily operate multiple elements and to closely space these elements such that the active area of an array is essentially identical to that of a single element. This ability to eliminate seam-loss between elements, as well as the performance advantages gained by using multiple smaller elements, makes the multi-element approach an attractive way to increase the general detector performance (detection efficiency and maximum counting rate) as well as to provide new capabilities (photon-number, spatial, and spectral resolution). Additionally, in contrast to semiconductor-based single-photon detectors, SNSPDs have a negligible probability of spontaneously emitting photons during the detection process, eliminating a potential source of crosstalk between array elements.(cont.) However, the SNSPD can be susceptible to other forms of crosstalk, such as thermal or electromagnetic interactions between elements, so it was important to investigate the operation and limitations of multi-element SNSPDs. This thesis will introduce the concept of a multi-element SNSPD with a continuous active area and will investigate its performance advantages, its potential drawbacks and finally its application to intensity correlation measurements.This work is sponsored by the United States Air Force under Contract #FA8721-05-C-0002. Opinions, interpretations, recommendations and conclusions are those of the authors and are not necessarily endorsed by the United States Government.
Thesis (Ph. D.)--Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Dept. of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, 2009.This electronic version was submitted by the student author. The certified thesis is available in the Institute Archives and Special Collections.Includes bibliographical references (p. 140-148).
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Electrical Engineering and Computer Science.