Nonlinearity and Gating in Superconducting Nanowire Single Photon Detectors
Keshavarz Akhlaghi, Mohsen
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The quantum properties of electromagnetic radiation at single photon level promise to offer what are classically inaccessible. Single photon sources and detectors are therefore on demand for exploiting these properties in practical applications, including but not limited to quantum information processing and communication. In this thesis, I advance Superconducting Nanowire Single Photon Detectors (SNSPD) both in terms of models describing their operation, and their performance. I report on characterization, semi-empirical modeling, quantum-optical modeling and detector tomography. The results provide more accurate methods and formulations to characterize and mathematically describe the detectors, valuable findings from both application and device points of views. I also introduce the concept of Gated SNSPDs, show how to implement and how to characterize them. Through series of theoretical and experimental investigations, I show performance advantages of Gated SNSPDs in terms of dead time and dark count rate, important figures for many applications like quantum key distribution. The ultimate limitations of gated operation are also explored by physical modeling and simulation steps.