We have developed SSPDs on dielectric multilayers and their optical design method, which enable us to design a variety of wavelength dependences of optical absorptance by optimizing the dielectric multilayer.
In order to achieve the high detection efficiency in SSPDs, it is crucial to optimize the optical absorptance for a target wavelength. In the conventional SSPDs, a simple cavity structure consisting of dielectric resonant layers with a mirror layer has been used. This structure is relatively simple and can effectively achieve high absorptance at the target wavelength, and the wavelength dependencies of absorptance show a single peak structure. However, in this structure, it is difficult to realize the SSPDs with high efficiency over a carefully controlled spectral range, with rejection at other wavelengths to reduce the noises.
By adopting a new SSPD structure with dielectric multilayers, it became possible to design desired wavelength dependences of the optical absorptance. As materials of dielectric multilayer, silicon dioxide (SiO2) and titanium oxide (TiO2) were used, and the niobium nitride (NbN) superconducting nanowire was put on the dielectric multilayer. The wavelength dependences of the optical absorptance in the nanowire could be designed by optimizing the layer number and thicknesses of each layer in the dielectric multilayer. We developed the SSPDs based on the optimized design, and experimentally demonstrated that the wavelength dependences of the detection efficiency follow the calculated results well. Regarding the optical design method, in order to optimize the wavelength dependence of the absorptance effectively, we perform two-step simulation of the optical multilayer calculation and the finite element analysis.
In support of the SSPD measurements, the NICT team collaborated with Osaka University, Japan and the University of Glasgow, Scotland through the NICT internship scheme.