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Chin. Phys. B, 2022, Vol. 31(5): 057401    DOI: 10.1088/1674-1056/ac398a

Photon number resolvability of multi-pixel superconducting nanowire single photon detectors using a single flux quantum circuit

Hou-Rong Zhou(周后荣)1,2, Kun-Jie Cheng(程昆杰)1,2, Jie Ren(任洁)1,2,3,†, Li-Xing You(尤立星)1,2,3,‡, Li-Liang Ying(应利良)1,3, Xiao-Yan Yang(杨晓燕)1,3, Hao Li(李浩)1,3, and Zhen Wang(王镇)1,3
1 State Key Laboratory of Functional Material for Informatics, Shanghai Institute of Microsystem and Information Technology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shanghai 200050, China;
2 Center of Materials Science and Optoelectronics Engineering, University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China;
3 CAS Center for Excellence in Superconducting Electronics, Shanghai 200050, China
Abstract  Superconducting nanowire single-photon detectors (SNSPDs) are typical switching devices capable of detecting single photons with almost 100% detection efficiency. However, they cannot determine the exact number of incident photons during a detection event. Multi-pixel SNSPDs employing multiple read-out channels can provide photon number resolvability (PNR), but they require increased cooling power and costly multi-channel electronic systems. In this work, a single-flux quantum (SFQ) circuit is employed, and PNR based on multi-pixel SNSPDs is successfully demonstrated. A multi-input magnetically coupled DC/SFQ converter (MMD2Q) circuit with a mutual inductance M is used to combine and record signals from a multi-pixel SNSPD device. The designed circuit is capable of discriminating the amplitude of the combined signals in accuracy of Φ0/M with Φ0 being a single magnetic flux quantum. By employing the MMD2Q circuit, the discrimination of up to 40 photons can be simulated. A 4-parallel-input MMD2Q circuit is fabricated, and a PNR of 3 is successfully demonstrated for an SNSPD array with one channel reserved for the functional verification. The results confirm that an MMD2Q circuit is an effective tool for implementing PNR with multi-pixel SNSPDs.
Keywords:  superconducting nanowire      single-flux quantum circuit      photon number resolution  
Received:  08 September 2021      Revised:  11 November 2021      Accepted manuscript online: 
PACS:  74.25.fg (Thermoelectric effects)  
  74.25.Gz (Optical properties)  
  85.25.Cp (Josephson devices)  
Fund: This work was also supported by the National Key R&D Program of China (Grant No.2017YFA0304000),the Strategic Priority Research Program of Chinese Academy of Sciences (Grant No.XDA18000000),and the Science and Technology Commission of Shanghai Municipality,China (Grant No.18511110200).
Corresponding Authors:  Jie Ren,;Li-Xing You,     E-mail:;
About author:  2021-11-15

Cite this article: 

Hou-Rong Zhou(周后荣), Kun-Jie Cheng(程昆杰), Jie Ren(任洁), Li-Xing You(尤立星),Li-Liang Ying(应利良), Xiao-Yan Yang(杨晓燕), Hao Li(李浩), and Zhen Wang(王镇) Photon number resolvability of multi-pixel superconducting nanowire single photon detectors using a single flux quantum circuit 2022 Chin. Phys. B 31 057401

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