Single-photon imager based on a superconducting nanowire delay line
Detecting spatial and temporal information of individual photons is critical to applications in spectroscopy, communication, biological imaging, astronomical observation and quantum-information processing. Here we demonstrate a scalable single-photon imager using a single continuous superconducting nanowire that is not only a single-photon detector but also functions as an efficient microwave delay line. In this context, photon-detection pulses are guided in the nanowire and enable the readout of the position and time of photon-absorption events from the arrival times of the detection pulses at the nanowire's two ends. Experimentally, we slowed down the velocity of pulse propagation to ∼2% of the speed of light in free space. In a 19.7 mm long nanowire that meandered across an area of 286 × 193 μm 2, we were able to resolve ∼590 effective pixels with a temporal resolution of 50 ps (full width at half maximum). The nanowire imager presents a scalable approach for high-resolution photon imaging in space and time.
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)
Zhao, Zhu, D., Calandri, N., Dane, A. E., McCaughan, A. N., Bellei, F., Wang, H.-Z., Santavicca, D. F., & Berggren, K. K. (2017). Single-photon imager based on a superconducting nanowire delay line. Nature Photonics, 11(4), 247–251. https://doi.org/10.1038/nphoton.2017.35