Detecting Single Photons with Superconductors

Detecting Single Photons with Superconductors
Tuesday, November 27, 2018 - 4:15pm
Packard 101
Prof. Karl K. Berggren (Department of EECS, MIT)
Abstract / Description: 

From space communications to quantum communications to sensing dark matter, ultrasenstive, ultrafast photodetectors are required. But conventional detector technologies often fall short, exhibiting noise, slow response times, poor sensitivity, or a combination of these issues. In contrast, superconducting detectors based on nanowires provide a unique combination of high speed, excellent efficiency, and low noise. Their underlying physical operating mechanism also provides a rich parameter space for application of physics across the optical, condensed-matter, and microwave domains. For example, we have recently used an ultra-slow plasmonic microwave mode in the nanowires to demonstrate single-photon-sensitive imaging. This rich physical parameter space for engineering has has resulted in improved device performance and extended the impact of these devices even further.


Prof. Berggren is a Professor of Electrical Engineering at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, where he heads the Quantum Nanostructures and Nanofabrication Group. He is also Director of the Nanostructures Laboratory in the Research Laboratory of Electronics and is a core faculty member in the Microsystems Technology Laboratory (MTL).

From December of 1996 to September of 2003, Prof. Berggren served as a staff member at MIT Lincoln Laboratory in Lexington, Massachusetts, and from 2010 to 2011, was on sabbatical at the Technical University of Delft in the Netherlands. Prof. Berggren is a fellow of AAAS, fellow of IEEE and a fellow of the International Society for Nanomanufacturing. He is a Kavli fellow, and a recipient of the 2015 Paul T. Forman Team Engineering Award from the Optical Society of America. In 2016, he received a Bose Fellowship and was also a recipient of the EECS Department's Frank Quick Innovation Fellowship.