Absolute efficiency and time-response measurement of single-photon detectors

P. G. Kwiat, A. M. Steinberg, R. Y. Chiao, P. H. Eberhard, P. H. Eberhard, M. D. Petroff, P. G. Kwiat

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Using correlated photons from spontaneous parametric downconversion, we have measured both the absolute quantum efficiencies and the time responses of four single-photon detectors. Efficiencies as high as (76.4 ± 2.3)% (at 702 nm) were seen, which to our knowledge are the highest reported single-photon detection efficiencies. An auxiliary retroreflection mirror was found to increase the net detection efficiency by as much as a factor of 1.19. The narrowest time profile for coincidences between two detectors displays a peak with 300 ps FWHM. We also investigated the presence of afterpulses and the effects of saturation and varying device parameters.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1844-1853
Number of pages10
JournalApplied Optics
Issue number10
StatePublished - Apr 1994
Externally publishedYes


  • Avalanche photodiode
  • Photon counting
  • Quantum efficiency

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Engineering (miscellaneous)
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering

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  • Cite this

    Kwiat, P. G., Steinberg, A. M., Chiao, R. Y., Eberhard, P. H., Eberhard, P. H., Petroff, M. D., & Kwiat, P. G. (1994). Absolute efficiency and time-response measurement of single-photon detectors. Applied Optics, 33(10), 1844-1853. https://doi.org/10.1364/AO.33.001844