2020-06-03

Physics

Single-photon detection for measurements at the quantum limit

Image dynamic events and interactions at the smallest scales with remarkably short exposures and over large spectral ranges with Nüvü Cameras’ unmatched noise specifications, enabling you to push the frontiers of knowledge with less concern over technical limitations.

Physics
Credit: Heidelberg University

Applications in Physics

  • Quantum simulators
    Measure faint fluorescence signals from single atoms with minimal laser excitation thanks to industry-leading photon counting capabilities. Track interactions and other fast kinetic events with exceptionally short exposures and high reliability.

    Ultracold atoms

    By cooling carefully prepared atoms or ions to temperatures nearing the absolute zero, a regime is attained where quantum effects are so relatively important as to visibly affect the atoms. The experimental setup can be controlled precisely to generate lattices of atoms and observe specific interactions, leading to practical observations of difficult theoretical problems.

    Ultra-low light measurements

    Single atoms generate very little fluorescence, sometimes with fluxes as low as a few photons per second, and cannot be excited at high power to avoid disturbing the sample and losing the carefully prepared quantum states. Moreover, it is necessary to attain very high imaging rates for certain measurements, compounding the low signal issue.

    Better photon-counting performances

    With lower clock-induced charges, the main source of noise in EMCCDs, Nüvü can reach an EM gain of up to 5000, whilst typical EMCCDs are limited to 1000. This higher gain, powered by our patented electronics, is crucial to obtain the best photon-counting performances and allows more genuine photons detected.

    These electronics also allow to drive the sensor faster and obtain higher frame rates or to use specific readout modes to reach very low exposure times. Thus, Nüvü will both reach the required imaging rates and have the sensitivity to obtain high quality images in these conditions.

    Trapped ions

    In order to develop quantum computers, first we must achieve better comprehension of its basic unit of information; the quantum bit (qubit). Several ions can be prepared to be in a superposed state, acting as qubits, and then trapped in a standing wave potential to form an ion chain. This chain can be used as a register to test operations and algorithms, which will deepen our understanding of quantum computing and eventually allow scaling up to larger processing units.

    A low light detection challenge

    Due to the short lived nature of some ions, it is crucial to obtain high quality images in short exposure times, which can be difficult due to the presence of read noise. This challenge is all the more relevant since many ions emit in the UV range, where typical camera quantum efficiencies are lower.

    Higher SNR in lower exposure times

    Nüvü offers multiple UV solutions to improve quantum efficiency in UV wavelengths down to 150 nm, greatly increasing the quality of your measurements in these wavelengths. Thanks to the EMCCD’s electron multiplication, your effective read noise is negligible and with our CCCP the next dominant source of noise, the clock induced charges, are significantly reduced. This allows for high SNR even at extremely low exposure times.

  • Quantum imaging
    Quantum imaging is a large sub-domain in quantum optics studying quantum entanglement and its effects. By exploiting these unique properties, the accuracy of standard classical methods can be significantly improved and novel imaging methods can be achieved. Better understanding of quantum entanglement is also crucial to improve quantum communication and quantum computing methods.

    Imaging photon pairs

    To characterize quantum entanglement it is essential to have the ability to detect photon pairs; meaning the detector must have single photon detection capabilities. Unfortunately, many photon counting detectors suffer from low quantum efficiency or must be placed in arrays with low fill factors to reconstruct an image from multiple devices.

    EMCCDs built for photon counting

    Nüvü Cameras’s EMCCDs are designed for the best photon counting performances, with a single-photon detections probability of over 91%. This thanks to redesigned electronics that significantly lower clock-induced charges, the main source of noise in EMCCDs, allowing an EM gain of up to 5000. With a quantum efficiency of over 95% and fill factor of 100%, Nüvü combines wide-field imaging and exceptional photon counting performances.

    Demonstration: The importance of gain for faint flux imaging

    The following article demonstrates the impacts of gain and clock-induced charges of photon-counting performances. This highlights the importance of our unique specifications for demanding measurement contexts.