2017 Volume E100.C Issue 3 Pages 274-282
In this review, we present recent advances relating to superconducting nanowire single-photon detectors (SSPDs or SNSPDs) and their broad range of applications. During a period exceeding ten years, the system performance of SSPDs has been drastically improved, and lately excellent detection efficiencies have been realized in practical systems for a wide range of target photon wavelengths. Owing to their advantages such as high system detection efficiency, low dark count rate, and excellent timing jitter, SSPDs have found application in various research fields such as quantum information, quantum optics, optical communication, and also in the life sciences. We summarize the photon detection principle and the current performance status of practical SSPD systems. In addition, we introduce application examples in which SSPDs have been applied.