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High Speed Room Temperature Single Photon Counters

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Army
Contract: W911NF-11-C-0248
Agency Tracking Number: A11A-008-0259
Amount: $99,997.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: STTR
Solicitation Topic Code: A11a-T008
Solicitation Number: 2011.A
Solicitation Year: 2011
Award Year: 2011
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2011-08-30
Award End Date (Contract End Date): N/A
Small Business Information
1840 Oak Ave., Suite 212S
Evanston, IL 60201-
United States
DUNS: 133619234
HUBZone Owned: No
Woman Owned: No
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: No
Principal Investigator
 Gregory Kanter
 VP Engineering
 (847) 733-8750
Business Contact
 Prem Kumar
Title: Manager / CEO
Phone: (847) 275-8996
Research Institution
 Northwestern University
 Susan G Ross
633 Clark Street
Evanston, IL 60208-1110
United States

 (847) 491-3003
 Nonprofit college or university

Detecting light at the single photon level is a fundamental measurement function that is useful in a wide variety of applications, including such diverse fields as biological spectroscopy, laser ranging, and quantum communications. Avalanche photodiode (APD) based single photon detectors (SPDs) are very convenient in that they are small solid state devices that don"t require cryogenic cooling. Si-based APD devices have high performance for<1 micron wavelengths. III-V material APDs are sensitive to the telecom bands (1.3 and 1.5 micron), but generally have inferior performance. Recently methods of high speed gating of III-V APDs has lead to dramatic improvements in their speed. We propose to optimize the III-V APD performance for high speed (GHz) gated operation by appropriate electronic control and system optimization. The use of nonlinear frequency conversion can allow for higher performance Si detectors to measure telecom wave-bands. The nonlinear interaction can add extra noise however. We will build a model for the noise processes and validate it with experimental measurements. The high speed performance of the Si detector will also be optimized. The feasibility of combining appropriate up-conversion with such high speed Si APDs for building low-noise multi-GHz detectors will be evaluated.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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