Superconducting series nanowire detector counting up to twelve photons

Zili Zhou, Saeedeh Jahanmirinejad, Francesco Mattioli, Dondu Sahin, Giulia Frucci, Alessandro Gaggero, Roberto Leoni, Andrea Fiore

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

30 Citations (Scopus)


We demonstrate a superconducting photon-number-resolving detector capable of resolving up to twelve photons at telecommunication wavelengths. It is based on a series array of twelve superconducting NbN nanowire elements, each connected in parallel with an integrated resistor. The photon-induced voltage signals from the twelve elements are summed up into a single readout pulse with a height proportional to the detected photon number. Thirteen distinct output levels corresponding to the detection of n = 0-12 photons are observed experimentally. A detailed analysis of the linearity and of the excess noise shows the potential of scaling to an even larger dynamic range.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3475-3489
Number of pages15
JournalOptics Express
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 10 Feb 2014


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