In recent years, quantum optics has revolutionized the way we think about computing and communication. The experimental demonstration of quantum teleportation, quantum key distribution for secure communication and many other exciting achievements in the field of quantum computing will enable novel applications that were considered to be impossible only a few decades ago.
One of the key components in quantum optic systems are single photon detectors (SPD): components that can detect a single photon at a time, unlocking the quantum nature of light. One demonstrated approach to realize high-performance single-photon detectors is through superconducting nanowire (SN) devices, using materials such as NbN, NbTiN and others. The demonstrated SNSPDs have best-in-class performance for the most important metrics , such as detection efficiency (DE), dark current rate (DCR), jitter (J). However, their superconducting nature requires them to be cooled to a few degrees K, which is hampering widespread use of this technology. Alternatively, single-photon avalanche photodiodes (SPAD) have been demonstrated to work at substantially higher temperatures of 100K and above, but at the expense of higher dark count rates (>0.1-1MHz). Very recently, SPADs on Si have been demonstrated, as well as some early waveguide-coupled devices.
In this thesis, the PhD candidate will pioneer next-generation waveguide-coupled SPAD devices on silicon, with an objective to close the performance gap between SNSPDS and SPADs. Hereto, detailed modeling and characterization of currently available Ge-on-Si and III-V-on-Si waveguide photodetectors will be carried out. These insights will subsequently be used to propose and implement process and design optimizations to improve SPAD performance. Finally, the most promising designs will be implemented in imec's emerging silicon integrated quantum photonics platform.
Required background: Physics, Engineering Technology, Engineering Science
Type of work: 40% experimental, 40% modeling/simulation, 20% literature
Supervisor: Dries Van Thourhout
Daily advisor: Joris Van Campenhout, Ashwyn Srinivasan
The reference code for this position is 1812-24. Mention this reference code on your application form.