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ID281 Pro SNSPD System

Intuitive, rack-mountable system designed for reliability and ease-of-use

  • Fully autonomous 24/7 continuous operation
  • Rapid and simple installation
  • Intuitive Web UI for remote operability
  • Compact, 8U high rack mount cryogenic system with up to 16 detectors
  • Optional rack-mount vacuum pump and/or compressor

Introducing our next-generation rack-mountable SNSPD system – bringing IDQ’s industry-leading single-photon detection to a compact, plug-and-play package.

The ID281 Pro represents a leap forward in reliability and ease-of-use, simplifying integration while retaining the outstanding performance of our ID281 line: high efficiency, ultra-low noise, broadband operation, superb timing precision, and fast recovery times.

Forget about your detectors and focus on your science with our most intuitive system yet.

Key Features

System characteristics:

  • Fully autonomous 24/7 continuous operation
  • Plug-and-play installation
  • Web UI for remote operability
  • Compact, 8U form factor with up to 16 detectors in one system
  • Rack-mounted vacuum pump and compressor options available
  • Optional: Advanced time-tagging, coincidence filtering and delay/pulse generation with the ID1000 Time Controller

Detector performance:

  • Near-perfect detection efficiency
  • Ultra-low noise: as low as < 1 cps dark count rate
  • Superb timing precision with built-in cryogenic amplifiers
  • Hardware-based true latch-free operation at any detection rate
  • High count rates: ultrafast detectors with maximum detection rates above 200 Mcps for parallel devices, and above 1 Gcps for multi-pixel devices
  • Up to 16 detectors, upgrade any time

Innovation highlight:

  • Industry-leading photon-number resolution and ultrafast detection
  • High efficiency down to 600 nm and up to 2 μm
  • Detectors with > 80% system detection efficiency and < 10 cps (or less) dark count rate at 1550 nm

IDQ’s promise:

  • Reliable and robust performance, with worldwide round-the-clock technical support


Detectors for any occasion

The single-photon detectors at the heart of the ID281 Pro system are Swiss-made SNSPDs featuring high detection efficiency, low jitter, low noise, and short recovery time. Check out our SNSPD Technology Spotlight to learn more.

IDQ offers several detector designs:

Standard: A single SNSPD with a linear nanowire meander, offering excellent overall performance in terms of system detection efficiency, detector noise, and timing precision. A polarization-insensitive version with a spiral meander is also available.

Parallel: Several interleaved SNSPD pixels connected in parallel on a single readout line, offering ultrafast detection and photon-number resolution. These detectors accurately discriminate multiphoton states and achieve detection rates as high as 100 Mcps in some situations, while still benefiting from the efficiency, precision, noise performance and broadband operation of IDQ’s SNSPD range.

Multi-Pixel: Several independent SNSPD pixels each with their own readout lines, offering even faster detection rates > 1 Gcps and ‘dynamic’ PNR robust to longer pulse durations, while still benefiting from the efficiency, precision, noise performance and broadband operation of the IDQ’s SNSPD range.

Watch this video with our head of R&D to learn more about our Parallel and Multi-Pixel SNSPD designs.

ID281 SNSPD detectors

A complete package

Pair your ID281 Pro with the ID1000 Time Controller for ultrafast, ultra-precise data acquisition.

We’ve worked hard to make the ID281 Pro system as simple as possible: your photons come in, and analog voltage pulses come out. But in the end these detection pulses do need to be turned into digital information, so the fastest and most precise timing instrumentation is key.



Broad-spectrum near-ideal detection efficiency

Due to our cavity design, every ID281 Pro has a high system detection efficiency (SDE) across hundreds of nanometers at a user-selected central wavelength. Our full range of SNSPDs provides sensitivity to single photons at wavelengths from below 500 nm to beyond 2 μm.

Detector wavelengths 500 nm to 2000 nm
Broadband detection efficiency High SDE over > 100 nm range
Peak system detection efficiency (SDE) ≥ 80% to ≥ 90%


For even broader wavelength ranges, custom optical cavities can be designed. Detectors can also be coupled to multimode fiber on request.


Superb precision

With built-in cryogenic amplifiers, the detector timing jitter is < 40 ps FWHM for all Standard SNSPDs, and can reach < 30 ps. Timing jitter varies depending on detection wavelength, detector design, and detector composition. Lower jitter values can be prioritized on request.

Timing jitter (FWHM) < 30 ps to < 40 ps


Ultrafast single-photon counting

All single-photon detectors take a finite time to recover to full detection efficiency after a detection event, impacting the maximum detection rate that can be practically observed. IDQ’s Standard SNSPDs are already incredibly fast single-photon detectors, but our novel Parallel and Multi-Pixel SNSPD designs give the very best speed in single-photon counting.


Maximum detection rate (1) Standard SNSPDs: > 30 Mcps (recovery time typ. < 30 ns)
Parallel SNSPDs: > 100 Mcps (recovery time < 10 ns)
Multi-Pixel SNSPDs: up to > 1 Gcps across all pixels

(1) Recovery time is defined as the time for the detection efficiency to recover to 50% of its maximum value after a detection event. Call us for details about the interplay between detection rate and efficiency.


Ultra-low noise

Detector dark counts—spurious detection events that occur with the optical inputs fully isolated—are always negligibly low in all of IDQ’s SNSPDs. Being dominated by low-temperature black-body radiation, these dark counts decrease at shorter wavelengths.

Maximum dark count rate < 500 nm to 950 nm: < 5 cps to < 1 cps
950 nm to 1300 nm: < 20 cps to < 1 cps
1300 nm to > 1600 nm: < 100 cps to < 1 cps


ID281 Pro system

The ID281 Pro system has been notably simplified compared to previous products, with detectors, closed-cycle cryostat, temperature monitoring, and control electronics fully integrated within a single automated, rack-mountable unit. Rack-mountable compressor and vacuum pump options are also available.

The ID281 Pro is our most intuitive system yet, with continuous operation and latch-free detection by design.


Overall system runtime 24/7 continuous operation
Detector base temperature < 3 K
Available detector channels Up to 16
Dimensions (2) Compatible with 19” rack
Cryo unit: 8U
Rack-mounted vacuum pump option: 4U
Rack-mounted compressor option: 6U
Power consumption (2) Cryo unit: < 0.2 kVA
Rack-mounted vacuum pump option: < 0.32 kVA
Rack-mounted compressor option: < 1.4 kVA
Interfaces Optical inputs: FC/PC
RF outputs: SMA female
Operating temperature (3) 10°C – 30°C

(2) Specs shown are for air-cooled, rack-mountable compressor and rack-mounted vacuum pump options. Other options are available; contact us for details.
(3) Cooling capacity may be reduced if environment exceeds 23°C. This can lead to elevated base temperature and DCR.

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