Modelling superconducting nanowire single photon detectors in a waveguide cavity

Nicola A Tyler, Jorge Barreto, Gerardo E. Villarreal-Garcia, Damien Bonneau, Dondu Sahin, Jeremy L O'Brien, Mark G Thompson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)
405 Downloads (Pure)


In this work we report on a single photon detector system which offers near-unity detection efficiency using waveguide-coupled superconducting nanowires with lengths on the order of 1 μm. This is achieved by embedding the nanowires in a racetrack resonator where the interaction time with the photons trapped in the cavity is increased, thereby allowing for shorter nanowires. We expect this to lead to a higher fabrication yield as the amount of inhomogeneities decreases for shorter nanowires. Our simulations show a system with a 1 μm long superconducting nanowire single photon detector (SNSPD) operating at near-unity detection efficiency using design parameters that can be realistically achieved with conventional fabrication processes. The resonant cavity introduces spectral selectivity to the otherwise broad-band SNSPDs and the cavity induced timing jitter is shown to be insignificant for SNSPDs longer than 1 μm.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)8797-8808
Number of pages12
JournalOptics Express
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 19 Apr 2016
EventPhoton 16 - University of Leeds, Leeds, United Kingdom
Duration: 5 Sept 20168 Sept 2016

Structured keywords

  • QETLabs
  • Photonics and Quantum


  • Detectors
  • Optical resonators
  • Integrated optics
  • Wavelength filtering devices
  • Photonic integrated circuits
  • Photodetectors


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