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Title: Fundamental limits to single-photon detection determined by quantum coherence and backaction

Abstract

Single-photon detectors have achieved impressive performance and have led to a number of new scientific discoveries and technological applications. Existing models of photodetectors are semiclassical in that the field-matter interaction is treated perturbatively and time-separated from physical processes in the absorbing matter. An open question is whether a fully quantum detector, whereby the optical field, the optical absorption, and the amplification are considered as one quantum system, could have improved performance. Here we develop a theoretical model of such photodetectors and employ simulations to reveal the critical role played by quantum coherence and amplification backaction in dictating the performance. Here, we show that coherence and backaction lead to trade-offs between detector metrics and also determine optimal system designs through control of the quantum-classical interface. Importantly, we establish the design parameters that result in a ideal photodetector with 100% efficiency, no dark counts, and minimal jitter, thus paving the route for next-generation detectors.

Authors:
 [1];  [1];  [1]
  1. Sandia National Lab. (SNL-CA), Livermore, CA (United States)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Sandia National Lab. (SNL-CA), Livermore, CA (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA)
OSTI Identifier:
1492353
Alternate Identifier(s):
OSTI ID: 1426835
Report Number(s):
SAND-2018-14016J
Journal ID: ISSN 2469-9926; PLRAAN; 670908
Grant/Contract Number:  
AC04-94AL85000; NA0003525
Resource Type:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Physical Review A
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 97; Journal Issue: 3; Journal ID: ISSN 2469-9926
Publisher:
American Physical Society (APS)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
74 ATOMIC AND MOLECULAR PHYSICS

Citation Formats

Young, Steve M., Sarovar, Mohan, and Léonard, François. Fundamental limits to single-photon detection determined by quantum coherence and backaction. United States: N. p., 2018. Web. doi:10.1103/PhysRevA.97.033836.
Young, Steve M., Sarovar, Mohan, & Léonard, François. Fundamental limits to single-photon detection determined by quantum coherence and backaction. United States. doi:10.1103/PhysRevA.97.033836.
Young, Steve M., Sarovar, Mohan, and Léonard, François. Mon . "Fundamental limits to single-photon detection determined by quantum coherence and backaction". United States. doi:10.1103/PhysRevA.97.033836. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1492353.
@article{osti_1492353,
title = {Fundamental limits to single-photon detection determined by quantum coherence and backaction},
author = {Young, Steve M. and Sarovar, Mohan and Léonard, François},
abstractNote = {Single-photon detectors have achieved impressive performance and have led to a number of new scientific discoveries and technological applications. Existing models of photodetectors are semiclassical in that the field-matter interaction is treated perturbatively and time-separated from physical processes in the absorbing matter. An open question is whether a fully quantum detector, whereby the optical field, the optical absorption, and the amplification are considered as one quantum system, could have improved performance. Here we develop a theoretical model of such photodetectors and employ simulations to reveal the critical role played by quantum coherence and amplification backaction in dictating the performance. Here, we show that coherence and backaction lead to trade-offs between detector metrics and also determine optimal system designs through control of the quantum-classical interface. Importantly, we establish the design parameters that result in a ideal photodetector with 100% efficiency, no dark counts, and minimal jitter, thus paving the route for next-generation detectors.},
doi = {10.1103/PhysRevA.97.033836},
journal = {Physical Review A},
number = 3,
volume = 97,
place = {United States},
year = {2018},
month = {3}
}

Journal Article:
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Cited by: 3 works
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Figures / Tables:

FIG. 1. FIG. 1. : Single-photon detection in a fully-coupled detector. a, Illustration of a photodetector where photon wavepackets interact with the detector (matter) degrees of freedom. The optically coupled excited state can decay into a number of optically inactive states. Information carriers, e.g., electrons, interact with the matter energy levels andmore » scatter, causing a response that can be monitored through a measurement. b, The conventional theory of photodetection assumes that the photon field, the absorption process, and the amplification process occur at different timescales and can therefore be treated separately. Alternatively, in this work we consider a fully coupled model where the three subsystems are treated as being part of one quantum system.« less

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