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Full Name: 
Acoustoelectronic single photon detector
Valery Talyanskii


University of Cambridge Cambridge
United Kingdom
52° 12' 19.2132" N, 0° 7' 18.5412" E
Running time: 
2006-01-01 - 2008-12-31

We propose to develop a novel photon detector for applications in quantum information processing and for general applications in areas where detection of ultra weak photon fluxes is required.

The proposal addresses the demand in quantum information processing for a single photon detector that can discriminate between different numbers of photons in a light pulse. Operation of the detector is based on measurement of a number of electrons and the holes created in a semiconductor layer by a light pulse. The detector exploits the charge transport by surface acoustic waves in order to realise a design in which a big photon absorption area (providing a high photon collection efficiency) is spatially separated from a microscopically small charge detection area (providing the sensitivity of charge measurement at the single electron level). The proposed design facilitates achieving a high quantum efficiency of the detector.

In addition to the photon counting regime (suitable for the quantum information processing applications) the detectors employing the acoustic charge transport can be used for general purposes. If the counting of single photons is not required, the acoustoelectric detectors can be quite simple in design and operate at room temperatures. In particular, we expect that the acoustoelectric detector can be competitive in detection of ultra weak light fluxes.

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