Single photon detection by cavity-assisted all-optical gain

Christopher Panuski, Mihir Pant, Mikkel Heuck, Ryan Hamerly, Dirk Englund*

*Corresponding author for this work

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We consider the free-carrier dispersion effect in a semiconductor nanocavity in the limit of discrete photoexcited electron-hole pairs. This analysis reveals the possibility of ultrafast, incoherent transduction and gain from a single photon signal to a strong coherent probe field. Homodyne detection of the displaced probe field enables an all-optical method for room-temperature, photon-number-resolving single photon detection. In particular, we estimate that a single photon absorbed within a silicon nanocavity can, within tens of picoseconds, be detected with ∼99% efficiency and a dark count rate on the order of kilohertz assuming a mode volume Veff∼10−2 (λ/nSi)3 for a 4.5-μm probe wavelength and a loaded quality factor Q on the order of 104.
Original languageEnglish
Article number205303
JournalPhysical Review B
Issue number20
Number of pages6
Publication statusPublished - 2019

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