High efficiency single photon detection via frequency up-conversion

Aaron P. Vandevender, Paul G. Kwiat

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We propose a method of single photon detection of infrared (IR) photons at potentially higher efficiencies and lower noise than allowed by traditional IR band avalanche photodiodes (APDs). By up-converting the photon from the IR, e.g. 1550 nm, to a visible wavelength in a nonlinear crystal, we can utilize the much higher efficiency of silicon APDs at these wavelengths. We have used a periodically poled lithium niobate (PPLN) crystal and a pulsed 1064 nm Nd:YAG laser to perform the up-conversion to a 631 nm photon. We observed conversion efficiencies as high as ∼ 80%, and demonstrated scaling down to the single photon level while maintaining a background of 3 ×s; 10−4 dark counts per count. We also propose a 2-crystal extension of this scheme, whereby orthogonal polarizations may be up-converted coherently, thus enabling complete quantum state transduction of arbitrary states.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1433-1445
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Modern Optics
Issue number10
StatePublished - 2004

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics


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