Design of High-Performance Photon-Number-Resolving Photodetectors Based on Coherently Interacting Nanoscale Elements
A number of applications in basic science and technology would benefit from high-fidelity photon-number-resolving photodetectors. While some recent experimental progress has been made in this direction, the requirements for true photon number resolution are stringent, and no design currently exists that achieves this goal. Here we employ techniques from fundamental quantum optics to demonstrate that detectors composed of subwavelength elements interacting collectively with the photon field can achieve high-performance photon number resolution. We propose a new design that simultaneously achieves photon number resolution, high efficiency, low jitter, low dark counts, and high count rate. We discuss specific systems that satisfy the design requirements, pointing to the important role of nanoscale device elements.