Absolute calibration of single-photon and multiplexed photon-number-resolving detectors

Lior Cohen, Yehuda Pilnyak, Daniel Istrati, Nicholas M. Studer, Jonathan P. Dowling, Hagai S. Eisenberg*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


Single-photon detectors are widely used in modern quantum optics experiments and applications. Like all detectors, it is important for these devices to be accurately calibrated. A single-photon detector is calibrated by determining its detection efficiency; the common method to measure this quantity requires comparison to another detector. Here, we suggest a method to measure the detection efficiency of a single-photon detector without requiring an external reference detector. Our method is valid for individual single-photon detectors as well as multiplexed detectors, which are known to be photon number resolving. The method exploits the even-number photon-statistics of a nonlinear source, as well as the nonlinear loss of a single-photon detector that occurs when multiple photons are incident simultaneously. We have analytically modeled multiplexed detectors and used the results to experimentally demonstrate the calibration of a single-photon detector without the need for an external reference detector.

Original languageAmerican English
Article number013811
JournalPhysical Review A
Issue number1
StatePublished - 5 Jul 2018

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 American Physical Society.


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