Photon-number resolving detector based on a series array of superconducting nanowires

S. Jahanmirinejad*, G. Frucci, F. Mattioli, D. Sahin, A. Gaggero, R. Leoni, A. Fiore

*Corresponding author for this work

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

68 Citations (Scopus)


We present the experimental demonstration of a superconducting photon number resolving detector. It is based on the series connection of N superconducting nanowires, each connected in parallel to an integrated resistor. The device provides a single voltage readout, proportional to the number of photons detected in distinct nanowires. Clearly separated output levels corresponding to the detection of n = 1-4 photons are observed in a 4-element detector fabricated from an NbN film on GaAs substrate, with a single-photon system quantum efficiency of 2.6 at λ = 1.3 μm. The series-nanowire structure is promising in view of its scalability to large photon numbers and high efficiencies.

Original languageEnglish
Article number072602
JournalApplied Physics Letters
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 13 Aug 2012


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