Part of the Oxford Instruments Group

Ultrasensitive Detector for Entangled Photon Studies

Challenge Background

Quantum entanglement occurs when two particles remain connected, even over large distances; such that actions performed on the quantum state of one have an instant effect on the other - the quantum state must be described for the system as a whole. Understanding of Photon Entanglement is highly pertinent to the growing fields of Quantum Communications, Quantum Cryptography, Quantum Computing and even Quantum Microscopy.

Imaging studies of entangled photon systems require ultrasensitive array detectors that are capable of registering and counting single photon events and photon pairs with superb discrimination from background noise events. Experimental workflow is furthermore enhanced through the ability to image with a rapid frame rate, thus accelerating the rate of image construction through photon counting.

iXon Ultra

Technology Solution

Electron Multiplying CCD (EMCCD) camera technology is the leading detector solution for entangled photon studies, combining single photon sensitivity with > 90% Quantum Efficiency. Furthermore, raw single photon sensitivity can be maintained without having to sacrifice fast frame rate capability, a common trade-off of traditional CCD technology.

Andor Camera Solution for Photon Entanglement Studies

Andor strongly recommends the iXon Ultra 897 Back-illuminated EMCCD Camera for Entangled Photon experiments. The iXon Ultra is a well-established EMCCD platform for high throughput single photon detection. With deep vacuum cooling down to -100°C and minimized spurious noise sources, the iXon Ultra provides the single photon and photon pair discrimination required for successful, high throughout detection in these most demanding of photon starved experiments:

Need photon counting with Ultrafast Shuttering capability and Fastest Possible Frame Rates? Check out the Andor iStar sCMOS


  1. Eliot Bolduc et al, Acquisition of multiple photon pairs with an EMCCD camera, J. Opt. 19 054006 (2017)
  2. Matthew Reichert et al, Reichert, M. (2018). Massively Parallel Coincidence Counting of High-Dimensional Entangled States, Scientific Reports volume 8, Article number: 7925 (2018)

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