Modelling superconducting nanowire single photon detectors in a waveguide cavity

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

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)


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 - 18 Apr 2016
Externally publishedYes


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