Detecting itinerant single microwave photons

Translated title of the contribution: Detecting itinerant single microwave photons

Sankar Raman Sathyamoorthy*, Thomas M. Stace, Göran Johansson

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalShort surveypeer-review


Single-photon detectors are fundamental tools of investigation in quantum optics and play a central role in measurement theory and quantum informatics. Photodetectors based on different technologies exist at optical frequencies and much effort is currently being spent on pushing their efficiencies to meet the demands coming from the quantum computing and quantum communication proposals. In the microwave regime, however, a single-photon detector has remained elusive, although several theoretical proposals have been put forth. In this article, we review these recent proposals, especially focusing on non-destructive detectors of propagating microwave photons. These detection schemes using superconducting artificial atoms can reach detection efficiencies of 90% with the existing technologies and are ripe for experimental investigations.

Translated title of the contributionDetecting itinerant single microwave photons
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)756-765
Number of pages10
JournalComptes Rendus Physique
Issue number7
StatePublished - 1 Aug 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Microwave photons
  • Quantum nondemolition
  • Single-photon detection
  • Superconducting circuits


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