Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Single Photon Detector Conquers The Dark Side

Date:
August 13, 2003
Source:
National Institute Of Standards And Technology
Summary:
Researchers from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and Boston University have demonstrated a detector that counts single pulses of light, while simultaneously reducing false or "dark counts" to virtually zero.

Researchers from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and Boston University have demonstrated a detector that counts single pulses of light, while simultaneously reducing false or "dark counts" to virtually zero.

Reported in the July 28, 2003, issue of Applied Physics Letters*, the advance provides a key technology needed for future development of secure quantum communications and cryptography.

Quantum communications and cryptography is a codemaker's Holy Grail. The idea is to use a rapid series of light pulses (photons) in one of two different states to transmit information in an unbreakable code.

The photon detector project is part of a multi-disciplinary NIST effort to develop the sophisticated measurement methods needed to make quantum communication and cryptography possible. Funding was provided by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) and the NIST Advanced Technology Program (ATP).

Most current photon detectors operate best with visible light, cannot reliably detect single photons and suffer from high dark counts due to random electronic noise. The new device operates with the wavelength of near-infrared light used for fiber optic communications and produces negligible dark counts. Instead of using light-sensitive materials, the NIST device uses a tungsten film coupled to a fiber optic communication line. The film is chilled to 120 milliKelvin, at its transition temperature between normal conductivity and superconductivity. When the fiber optic line delivers a photon to the tungsten film, the temperature rises and the apparatus detects it as an increase in electrical resistance.

The device detects about 20,000 photons per second and works with an efficiency of about 20 percent. With planned improvements, the research team hopes to increase efficiencies to greater than 80 percent.

###

* Miller, A.J., Nam, S.W., Martinis, J.M. and Sergienko, A.V. Demonstration of a low-noise near-infrared photon counter with multi-photon discrimination, Applied Physics Letters (July 28, 2003), Vol. 83, No. 4, pp. 791-793.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by National Institute Of Standards And Technology. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

National Institute Of Standards And Technology. "Single Photon Detector Conquers The Dark Side." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 13 August 2003. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2003/08/030813070545.htm>.
National Institute Of Standards And Technology. (2003, August 13). Single Photon Detector Conquers The Dark Side. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 15, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2003/08/030813070545.htm
National Institute Of Standards And Technology. "Single Photon Detector Conquers The Dark Side." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2003/08/030813070545.htm (accessed September 15, 2014).

Share This



More Space & Time News

Monday, September 15, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

SpaceX's Elon Musk Really Wants To Colonize Mars

SpaceX's Elon Musk Really Wants To Colonize Mars

Newsy (Sep. 14, 2014) Elon Musk has been talking about his goal of colonizing Mars for years now, but how much of it does he actually have figured out, and is it possible? Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
International Space Station Crew Returns Safely To Earth

International Space Station Crew Returns Safely To Earth

Newsy (Sep. 11, 2014) The three-man crew touched down in Kazakhstan Wednesday after more than five months of science experiments in orbit. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Solar Storm To Hit This Weekend, Scientists Not Worried

Solar Storm To Hit This Weekend, Scientists Not Worried

Newsy (Sep. 11, 2014) Two solar flares which erupted in our direction this week will arrive this weekend. The resulting solar storm will be powerful but not dangerous. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Solar Flare Surges Off Sun

Solar Flare Surges Off Sun

Reuters - US Online Video (Sep. 11, 2014) NASA captures video of a significant flare surging off the sun. Jillian Kitchener reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

    Technology News



    Save/Print:
    Share:

    Free Subscriptions


    Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

    Get Social & Mobile


    Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

    Have Feedback?


    Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
    Mobile: iPhone Android Web
    Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
    Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
    Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins