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Radiometric characterization of a triggered narrow-bandwidth single-photon source and its use for the calibration of silicon single-photon avalanche detectors


The traceability of measurements of the parameters characterizing single-photon sources, such as photon flux and optical power, paves the way towards their reliable comparison and quantitative evaluation. In this paper, we present an absolute measurement of the optical power of a single-photon source based on an InGaAs quantum dot under pulsed excitation with a calibrated single-photon avalanche diode (SPAD) detector. For this purpose, a single excitonic line of the quantum dot emission with a bandwidth below 0.1 nm was spectrally filtered by using two tilted interference filters. Since high count rates are essential for many metrological applications, we optimized the setup efficiency by combining high overall transmission of the optical components with a geometrical enhancement of the extraction efficiency of a single quantum dot by a monolithic microlens to reach photon fluxes up to 3.7∙105 photons per second at the SPADs. A relative calibration of two SPAD detectors with a relative standard uncertainty of 0.7 % was carried out and verified by the standard calibration method using an attenuated laser. Finally, an Allan deviation analysis was performed giving an optimal averaging time of 92 s for the photon flux.


Hristina Georgieva1, Marco López1, Helmuth Hofer1, Justus Christinck1,2, Beatrice Rodiek1,2, Peter Schnauber3, Arsenty Kaganskiy3, Tobias Heindel3, Sven Rodt3, Stephan Reitzenstein3 and Stefan Kück1,2

1 Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt, Braunschweig, Germany

2 Laboratory for Emerging Nanometrology, Braunschweig, Germany

3 Institut für Festkörperphysik, Technische Universität Berlin, Berlin, Germany


Hristina Georgieva et al 2020 Metrologia 57 055001