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Improved Single-Photon Counters
Nov 2006
ID QuantiqueRequest Info
GENEVA, Nov. 30, 2006 -- id Quantique, a manufacturer of hardware products for network security and optical instrumentation, announces the release of ultralow noise single-photon counting modules for the visible spectral range. A state-of-the-art dark count rate of less than 1 Hz (20 Hz) is offered for 20 m (50 m, respectively) diameter devices, the company said.

idQuantique.jpgIn addition to an outstanding noise level, the other salient features of the company's successful id100 series are upheld: timing resolution of only 40 ps, short deadtime of 50 ns, compact and robust enclosure, long-term stability and reliability thanks to a CMOS fabrication process.

These modules set a new standard in photon-counting applications, providing a major boost in signal-to-noise ratio to customers looking for the ultimate detector sensitivity level.

"Such a low noise level has never been achieved up to now, even by companies which have developed their own dedicated fabrication process. This significant step in noise reduction was made possible by working closely with our partner CMOS foundry and by optimizing our detector design," said Alexis Rochas, manager of detector developments at id Quantique.

As with previous versions of the id100 series, the active quenching circuit and the photosensitive avalanche diode are integrated on the same silicon chip. This guarantees a timing resolution of 40 ps, a low dead time of only 50 ns and a timing stability up to count rates of as much as 20 MHz in pulsed-mode regime, outperforming existing commercial devices in all applications requiring single photon detection, the company said. Moreover, the instrument response function is free of artifacts or satellite pulses -- this makes the detector essential for all TCSPC-based applications.

Contrary to photomultiplier tubes and microchannel plates, the id100 requires low power, does not suffer from memory effects and is not damaged by ambient light or over-illumination.

"Some of our customers operate in photon-starved environments, where the ultimate detectivity level is required. A 50-times improvement in signal-to-noise ratio, like the one we offer with these ultralow noise detectors, opens up new opportunities and enables customers to push back the limits of their experiments," said Alexandre Pauchard, vice president of engineering. Both a free-space and a fiber-coupled version are available.

id Quantique said the id100-series is compact, robust, easy to use and compatible with most acquisition instruments (e.g. TCSPC boards, counters, correlators or TACs) and available for purchase. For more information, visit:; e-mail:

id Quantique will also be exhibiting at the BiOS 2007 tradeshow (Booth 8520) from Jan. 20-21 and Photonics West 2007 (Booth 518) from Jan. 23-25.

id Quantique SA
Chemin de la Marbrerie, 3
1227 Carouge
Geneva, Switzerland
Phone: +41-22-301-83-71
Fax: +41-22-301-83-79


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The unwanted and unpredictable fluctuations that distort a received signal and hence tend to obscure the desired message. Noise disturbances, which may be generated in the devices of a communications system or which may enter the system from the outside, limit the range of the system and place requirements on the signal power necessary to ensure good reception.
The technology of generating and harnessing light and other forms of radiant energy whose quantum unit is the photon. The science includes light emission, transmission, deflection, amplification and detection by optical components and instruments, lasers and other light sources, fiber optics, electro-optical instrumentation, related hardware and electronics, and sophisticated systems. The range of applications of photonics extends from energy generation to detection to communications and...
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