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Single-photon area detector

PTBnews 3.2023
Especially interesting for

Quantum computing

Experimental astrophysics

Functional principle of the single-photon area detector

Single-photon detectors are being used more and more frequently for applications such as quantum communication, quantum computing and quantum imaging as well as for experiments in the fields of astrophysics and materials science. To detect the single photons, PTB’s concept requires the detector to be constructed from a two-dimensional superconductor. A hole pattern of non-superconducting areas is integrated into the superconductor. This geometry allows an absorbed photon in one of these areas to induce an avalanche-like transition to normal conductivity in the detector. It induces an excess voltage, which allows the absorption of the photon to be detected.


Polarization-independent detection efficiency

Better signal-to-noise ratio

Simple and modular detector setup

Contact person for questions about technology transfer

Andreas Barthel,
Phone: (0531) 592-8307,
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