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Opt Express. 2012 Aug 27;20(18):20115-23. doi: 10.1364/OE.20.020115.

Low-jitter single flux quantum signal readout from superconducting single photon detector.

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  • 1National Institute of Information and Communications Technology (NICT), 588-2 Iwaoka, Nishi-ku, Kobe 651-2492, Japan. terai@nict.go.jp


We developed a single-flux-quantum (SFQ) readout technology for superconducting single-photon detectors (SSPDs) to achieve low-jitter signal readout. By optimizing circuit parameters of the SFQ readout circuit, the input current sensitivity was improved below 10 μA, which is smaller than a typical critical current of SSPD. The experiment using a pulse-pattern generator as an input pulse source revealed that the measured jitter of the SFQ readout circuit is well below the system jitter of our measurement setup for the input current level above 15 μA. The measured jitter of the SSPD connected to the SFQ readout circuit was 37 ps full width at half maximum (FWHM) for an SSPD bias current of around 18 μA, which is a significant improvement on 67 ps FWHM jitter observed in conventional readout without an SFQ readout circuit.

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