Mid-infrared photon counting with superconducting nanowires

Taylor, Gregor G. (2021) Mid-infrared photon counting with superconducting nanowires. PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.

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Abstract

Superconducting nanowire single photon detectors (SNSPDs) set the gold-standard in infrared single-photon detection. The detection metrics offered by these detectors - timing resolution, dark count rate, detection efficiency and wavelength sensitivity - are continuing topics of research as we strive towards the ultimate detector. In this work, efforts to explore and expand the wavelength sensitivity of SNSPDs are shown, where there is still much progress to be made. Expanding the wavelength range of SNSPDs to the mid-infrared will bring great benefits to a wide variety of fields especially in the domain of remote sensing and LIDAR.

The optimisation, fabrication and deployment of such SNSPDs into applications in the mid-infrared is presented. Investigations into atomic layer deposition as a novel technique for superconducting material growth for SNSPDs in the mid-infrared is shown, with characterisation of devices up to 2 μm. Tailored SNSPDs with enhanced absorption in the mid-infrared are fully characterised at a wavelength of 2.3 μm and presented. The viability of such devices for remote sensing applications in the mid-infrared is then demonstrated with a proof-of-principle SNSPD photon-counting LIDAR experiment at 2.3 μm. Additionally, a 1.55 μm wavelength scanning LIDAR field trial is shown with a novel differential readout tapered SNSPD providing ultra-fast timing resolution. The resulting depth images exhibit sub-mm depth resolution. It is hoped that this work will enable the advancement and deployment of SNSPDs for a wide-variety of near and mid-infrared applications where their unrivalled performance benefits can be leveraged.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Subjects: T Technology > T Technology (General)
Colleges/Schools: College of Science and Engineering > School of Engineering > James Watt Nanofabrication Centre
Supervisor's Name: Hadfield, Professor Robert
Date of Award: 2021
Depositing User: Theses Team
Unique ID: glathesis:2021-82501
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 11 Oct 2021 12:35
Last Modified: 11 Oct 2021 12:40
Thesis DOI: 10.5525/gla.thesis.82501
URI: http://theses.gla.ac.uk/id/eprint/82501
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