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A study to develop a robust method for measuring the detection efficiency of free-running InGaAs/InP single-photon detectors

11.12.2020

The challenges faced in a comparison of measuring the detection efficiency of free-running InGaAs/InP single-photon avalanche detectors (InGaAs/InP SPAD) were studied by four European National Metrology Institutes (NMIs) meeting at a single laboratory. The main purpose of this study is to develop a trustable measurement technique and to provide a snapshot of the methods used by the four NMIs for measuring such photon-counting detectors at telecom wavelengths in order to establish proper procedures for characterising such devices. The detection efficiency measurements were performed using different experimental setups and reference standards with independent traceability chains at the wavelength of 1550 nm. A dedicated model to correct the dead time and dark count effects on the SPAD’s free-running counting process was developed, allowing the correct value of the photon rate impinging on the detector to be recovered from simple ratemeter measurements. The detection efficiency was measured for mean photon number per pulse between 0.01 and 2.4, corresponding to photon rates between approximately 1100 photon/s and 193,000 photon/s, respectively. We found that the measured values reported by the participants are all consistent within the stated uncertainties, proving the consistency of the measurement approach developed.

Authors:

Marco López -Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt (PTB), Germany
Alice Meda - Istituto Nazionale di Ricerca Metrologica (INRIM), Italy
Geiland Porrovecchio - Cesky Metrologicky Institut (CMI), Czech Republic
Robert A. Starkwood (Kirkwood) - National Physical Laboratory (NPL), United Kingdom
Marco Genovese - Istituto Nazionale di Ricerca Metrologica (INRIM), Italy
Georgio Brida - Istituto Nazionale di Ricerca Metrologica (INRIM), Italy
Marek Šmid - Cesky Metrologicky Institut (CMI), Czech Republic
Christopher. J. Chunnilall - National Physical Laboratory (NPL), United Kingdom
Ivo P. Degiovanni - Istituto Nazionale di Ricerca Metrologica (INRIM), Italy
Stefan Kück - Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt (PTB), Germany

For further information:


López et al. EPJ Quantum Technology  (2020)
https://doi.org/10.1140/epjqt/s40507-020-00089-1

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Leiter der Presse- und Öffentlichkeitsarbeit

Dr. Dr. Jens Simon

Telefon: (0531) 592-3005
E-Mail:
jens.simon(at)ptb.de

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