Superconducting Nanowire Single Photon Detectors (SNSPDs) have demonstrated timing and efficiency properties that have placed them at the frontier in single photon sensing applications (e.g. photon counting, deep space optical communications, quantum communication, and quantum encryption). Properties such as timing jitter as low as 3 ps, dark counts under 90 counts per day, high detection efficiency (>90\%), short dead time and sensitivity over a wide range of photon energies (UV to IR). SNSPDs have a cutoff energy where the photon does not have enough energy to trigger the detection mechanism. In this paper, we lay out the framework and experimental setup to explore a modified approach in detecting photons below the cut off energy typical in an SNSPD. Leveraging the nanowire's change in kinetic inductance from photon absorption, the resulting voltage pulse is measured through a coupled quantum-noise-limited parametric amplifier. We consider nanowires with widths less than the vortex entry limit of w < 4.4\xi, where \xi is the coherence length, limiting the sources of noise.
- Superconducting photodetectors
- infrared detectors
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
- Condensed Matter Physics
- Electrical and Electronic Engineering