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19 November 2007


PLI and id Quantique to develop 1064nm single-photon counting module

Princeton Lightwave Inc (PLI) of Cranbury, NJ, USA and id Quantique in Geneva, Switzerland have announced that they are collaborating to develop a single-photon counting module optimized for 1064nm by combining an avalanche photodiode with integrated biasing and quenching electronics.

It is difficult to detect single photons at wavelengths close to 1064nm with high efficiency, low noise, and low jitter, since this region of the spectrum lies at the limit of sensitivity of silicon and indium gallium arsenide (InGaAs) avalanche photodiodes. The best approach currently is to use a silicon avalanche photodiode-based single-photon detector, but the efficiency is no more than a few percent.

To close this detection gap, Princeton Lightwave will use its expertise in III-V single-photon detector design and fabrication to develop an indium gallium arsenide phosphide/indium phosphide (InGaAsP/InP) avalanche photodiode (APD) optimized for high-efficiency Geiger-mode operation (i.e. at voltage biases above the breakdown voltage) at 1064nm. id Quantique will combine the photodiode with its integrated active quenching circuit, which has high performance due to fast quenching and low capacitance, as well as high reliability.

The single-photon APD (SPAD) module, for detection in the wavelength range 950-1100nm, will be launched at the end of this year and demonstrated at the Photonics West show in San Jose, CA in January. Targeted applications include free-space quantum key distribution, remote sensing, and spectroscopy.