Novel Semiconductor Single-Photon Detectors

Jungsang Kim, Kyle S. McKay, Paul G. Kwiat, Kevin Zielnicki, Eric J. Gansen

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


In this Chapter, we summarize the current status and future prospects of a number of novel semiconductor-based single-photon detectors, including visible-light photon counters (VLPCs), solid-state photo-multipliers (SSPMs), and quantum-dot-based detectors. SSPMs and VLPCs utilize the gain produced by impact ionization of the impurity band to detect single photons over a wide wavelength range between 0.4 and 28. μm. Quantum-dot-based single-photon detectors use photoconductive gain associated with photogenerated carriers trapped in quantum dots. We cover the basic operating principles of these devices, describe experimental results that demonstrate their unique attributes, present mathematical models that quantify their performance, and discuss the future of these novel detector technologies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationExperimental Methods in the Physical Sciences
PublisherAcademic Press
Number of pages37
StatePublished - 2013

Publication series

NameExperimental Methods in the Physical Sciences
ISSN (Print)1079-4042


  • Impact ionization gain
  • Photoconductive gain
  • Photon-number-resolving detector
  • Quantum dots
  • Single-photon detector

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Physics and Astronomy


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