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ID281 Superconducting Nanowire Series Photoniques PH124

The very best in single-photon detection, with ultra-stable performance

  • Near-ideal detection efficiency: can exceed 95%
  • Highly precise timing and low noise, true latch-free operation
  • Ultrafast and photon-number resolving detection
  • Mix and match up to 16 detectors, with options for rack-mounted systems

Push your photonic experiments and applications to new heights with our Swiss-made superconducting nanowire single-photon detectors (SNSPDs), combining incredibly high detection efficiency, timing precision, low noise, and fast recovery time.

Mix and match up to 16 detectors in a single ID281 system. Choose from our Standard, Parallel, and Multi-Pixel detector designs with a range of user-customizable specifications for the best performance in your desired application.

For added convenience and mobility, the full ID281 system is available in a range of self-contained rack-mounted solutions.

Get the best out of your photonic experiments and applications with the ID281 Superconducting Nanowire Series today.

Learn more about Superconducting Nanowire Single-Photon Detectors in our SNSPD Technology Spotlight.

Get in touch with us to discuss your projects:

What's New

  • Detectors with > 80% system detection efficiency and > 1 cps dark count rate at 1550 nm
  • High efficiency at < 600 nm and > 2 μm
  • New detector designs for improved photon-number resolution and ultrafast detection – watch our video podcast for more information

Key Features

  • Near-perfect detection efficiency: can exceed 95%
  • Ultra-low noise: as low as < 1 cps dark count rate
  • Superb precision with built-in cryogenic amplifiers: as low as < 25 ps timing jitter
  • Mix and match up to 16 detectors, upgrade any time
  • High count rates: ultrafast detectors with maximum detection rates above 100 Mcps for parallel devices, and above 1 Gcps for multi-pixel devices
  • Hardware-based true latch-free operation at any detection rate
  • True 24/7 continuous operation (CO system)
  • Extended system lifetime through periodic automated helium recycling (SO system)
  • Reliable and robust performance, with worldwide round-the-clock technical support included
    • Self-contained rack-mounted systems
    • Advanced time-tagging, coincidence filtering and delay/pulse generation

Detectors for any occasion

The ID281’s single-photon detectors are Swiss-made SNSPDs featuring high detection efficiency, low jitter, low noise, and short recovery time. The detectors (between 2 and 16 SNSPDs in one cryogenic system) are integrated into an automated closed-cycle cryostat, providing ease-of-use and unrivalled device performance for long-term multi-year operation.

ID281 Standard SNSPD: 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.

ID281 Parallel SNSPD: 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 the ID281 SNSPD range.

ID281 Multi-Pixel SNSPD: 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 ID281 SNSPD range.

ID281 SNSPD detectors

A complete package

With performance derived from their superconducting material — operating at cryogenic temperatures — ID281 SNSPDs are delivered in a turnkey cryogenic system, tailored to your needs.

Additionally, the analogue detection pulses must be turned into digital information, meaning the fastest and most precise timing instrumentation is a must-have.

IDQ delivers all this and more, making it the most complete and versatile SNSPD system around.

  • Rack mounting customization for safety and mobility
  • ID281 Control Box for plug-and-play operation
  • ID1000 Time Controller for ultrafast ultra-precise data acquisition


Broad-spectrum near-ideal detection efficiency

Every ID281 SNSPD has a high system detection efficiency (SDE) across hundreds of nanometers at a user-selected central wavelength. The full range of ID281 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% (and can exceed 95%)


For even broader wavelength ranges, custom optical cavities can be designed, and detectors can 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 as low as < 25 ps. Timing jitter varies depending on detection wavelength, detector design, and detector composition. Lower jitter values can be prioritized on request.

Timing jitter (FWHM) < 25 ps to < 40 ps (typ. < 30 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. Standard ID281 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 ID281 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


Cryogenic system

Two models of cryogenic system house ID281 Series SNSPDs: the ID281 SO (SOrption) system, and the ID281 CO (Continuous Operation) system. The ID281 SO system achieves the highest SNSPD performance, with longer periods between system maintenance and an overall longer system lifetime, while the ID281 CO system achieves true uninterrupted and indefinite SNSPD operation, and still reaching the performance specifications listed above.


Cryostat Model ID281 SO (SOrption) ID281 CO (Continuous Operation)
Detector base temperature < 1 K > 2 K
Runtime at base temperature ≥ 24 hours (2) Indefinitely
Available ID281 SNSPDs Full SNSPD catalogue Majority of our SNSPD catalogue
Key benefits – Lowest possible timing jitter
– Extended system lifetime
– True 24/7 continuous operation
Available detector channels Up to 16
Cryostat dimensions 63 cm x 30 cm x 30 cm

(2) Automated operation of the ID281 SO system gives indefinite continuous operation with a scheduled condensation cycle every day.

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