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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/G022151/1
Title: Next generation nanostructured superconducting single-photon detectors
Principal Investigator: Hadfield, Professor RH
Other Investigators:
Warburton, Professor R
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
Department: Sch of Engineering and Physical Science
Organisation: Heriot-Watt University
Scheme: Standard Research
Starts: 04 May 2009 Ends: 03 May 2012 Value (£): 362,544
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Materials Characterisation Materials Synthesis & Growth
Optical Devices & Subsystems
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Related Grants:
Panel History:
Panel DatePanel NameOutcome
07 Oct 2008 Materials Prioritisation Panel OCT Announced
Summary on Grant Application Form
Infrared single-photon detectors are a key enabling technology for a host of applications at the frontiers of science, from quantum information processing to remote sensing and new types of medical imaging. Advanced photon-counting applications place exacting demands on detector performance, which conventional detectors are unable to meet. This proposal focuses on a highly promising emerging single-photon detector technology, based on a superconducting nanowire. These detectors offer spectral sensitivity from visible to mid-infrared wavelengths, with picosecond timing resolution and low dark counts. However detector performance is currently hindered by low practical quantum efficiency, small device areas, and low fabrication yields. Next generation detectors are urgently required with near-100% detection efficiency and the ability to resolve the number of photons in a pulse of light. This project is designed to take up this challenge: we aim to create a new generation of high efficiency wavelength-tunable photon-number resolving nanostructured single-photon detectors, employing advanced concepts in nanofabrication and nano-optics. We aim to realise new high efficiency device designs based on optical cavities and nanoantennas, and multi-pixel detector arrays with photon-number resolving capability. This project is a collaboration between two leading UK groups, at the University of Cambridge and Heriot-Watt University, with additional support from the leading international group in this field (MIT, USA). The Cambridge group provide world-class expertise in superconducting thin film growth and device fabrication; the Heriot-Watt group bring unrivalled expertise in nano-optical testing of superconducting single-photon detectors. The development of this new generation of high performance single-photon detectors will affirm the position of the UK at the forefront of single-photon science and applications.
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Further Information:  
Organisation Website: http://www.hw.ac.uk