Los Alamos National Laboratory
Lab Home  |  Phone
Quantum Institute : 2007 Quantum Lunch Seminar Archives


  • Coordinator
    Diego Dalvit
  • Quantum Lunch Location:
    T-Division Conference Room, TA-3,
    Building 123, Room 121

Quantum Institute: Visitor Schedule

The Quantum Lunch is regularly held on Thursdays in the Theoretical Division Conference Room, TA-3, Building 123, Room 121.
For more information, contact Diego Dalvit.

July 19, 2007

Andrew J. Kerman
Optical Communications Technology Group
MIT Lincoln Laboratory

Superconducting NbN-Nanowire Single Photon Detectors


I will discuss our ongoing work at MIT on single-photon detectors based on superconducting NbN nanowires. These nanometer-scale devices exploit the ultrafast nonequilibrium electronic photoresponse in ultrathin films of the highly disordered superconductor NbN to produce a photon counter of unprecedented speed and sensitivity. With better than 30 ps timing resolution, few ns reset time after a detection, and high detection efficiency (> 70% demonstrated at 1550 nm), these devices show promise as an enabling technology in a number of areas, such as high data rate optical communications, spectroscopy of ultrafast quantum phenomena in biological and solid-state physics, quantum key distribution and quantum computation, astrophysics, laser radar, and high-speed noninvasive digital circuit testing. After providing an overview of the basic operating principles of these devices, I will present some of our recent results, including investigations into their detection mechanism, detection efficiency, and reset time; improvements to their optical design; and progress towards detector arrays. I will also show results from a demonstration experiment in which we used one of these detectors as a high-data-rate photon-counting optical receiver.

This work is sponsored by the United States Air Force under Air Force 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. 

Operated by Los Alamos National Security, LLC for the U.S. Department of Energy's NNSA

Inside | © Copyright 2007-8 Los Alamos National Security, LLC All rights reserved | Disclaimer/Privacy | Web Contact