MINA-NEWS #18 - February 2012

Supraconducting nanowires incorporated into a spectrometer

INAC, Leti, IMEP, and IPAG (the Grenoble Institute for Planetary Science and Astrophysics) have joined forces to develop a prototype for astrophysics applications: a microspectrometer with single photon detectors made from supraconducting nanowires.
The new microspectrometer (called SWIFTS) is extremely compact and contains a guided-wave interferometer that can create a stationary wave. A total of 24 supraconducting niobium nitride nanowires sample the interferences in space, at a wavelength centered at 1.55 µm. SWIFTS offers exceptional resolution (170 nm) coupled with high speed and sensitivity.
This new sampling capacity will pave the way for potential applications in radiation metrology, quantic cryptography, and fluorescence tomography. The innovation is protected by four patent applications.

Contact: jean-claude.villegier@cea.fr

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