Chromacity lasers helping to understand the behaviour of single photon detectors (SPDs)


Tuneable ultrafast picosecond near and mid infra-red lasers

Wednesday 8th July, Edinburgh, UK. Chromacity Ltd., a world leader in the design and development of ultrafast femtosecond and picosecond infra-red lasers is helping researchers characterise single photon detectors (SPDs), essential for many applications such as quantum key distribution, LIDAR, and sensing and characterisation of samples using fluorescence lifetime measurement.

Researchers are pushing to develop single photon detectors to operate in the near and mid infra-red.  Infra-red light is less susceptible to atmospheric absorption and can be particularly advantageous for free space applications such as long-range LIDAR.  New technologies such as Superconducting nanowire single-photon detectors (SNSPDs or SSPDs) have a very high photon detection efficiency and very low timing jitter, making them suitable for many of these single-photon applications.

However, testing and validating new sensor characteristics can be challenging – until now.  This new generation of sensors are sensitive over a wide wavelength range, so a source capable of scanning the complete wavelength range is important to create a complete picture of performance.  The time domain performance is also affected by the wavelength of the incident light, so being able to probe the sensor with a low jitter photon pulse is essential.

Chromacity has developed a family of tuneable ultrafast infra-red lasers that are ideal partners for SPD testing.  The Auskerry laser is capable of continuous tuning across the 1.4µm to 4.2µm, and the Haskeir laser from 4.5µm to 12µm.  Both lasers can generate ~2ps pulses at either 100MHz or 200MHz repetition rates with very low jitter.

The Auskerry laser uses a periodically poled lithium niobate (PPLN) non-linear crystal to generate near infra-red light in the range of 1.4um to 4.5um.  The Haskeir laser uses a different Orientation Patterned Gallium Phosphide (OP-GaP) non-linear crystal to generate mid infra-red light in the 4.5um to 12um range.  Both lasers have been optimised to generate ~2ps pulses with very high temporal fidelity allowing researchers to investigate the time domain behaviour of detectors with high confidence.

For more information about our infra-red tuneable lasers, click on the link below.


About Chromacity

Chromacity is a world leader in the design, development, and manufacturing of advanced ultrafast pulsed fibre lasers. Based in Edinburgh, UK, the company specialises in fixed wavelength femtosecond and picosecond optical parametric oscillator (OPO) based tuneable laser systems. Based on a novel patented laser architecture that delivers ultra stable long-term performance, the fixed wavelength femtosecond fibre lasers work at 1040nm and 920nm, and the tuneable picosecond OPO lasers work across the near infra-red and mid infra-red wavelengths from 1.4um to 12um.

The lasers are used principally for scientific and industrial research including spectroscopy (materials analysis), microscopy (biological imaging), defect detection, pollution monitoring and broad variety of quantum applications.

All Chromacity’s lasers are compact, air-cooled devices, and offer unrivalled long term pulse stability without the need for on-going maintenance. The company sells its products either directly, or via a global network of distributors and agents.