(TheStreet) Scientists from Russia’s NUST MISIS National Technological Initiative Center “Quantum Communications” are developing the world’s first prototype of an infrared photon video detector. This will be a camera so powerful that it would be able to track the movement of single particles. The camera will be equipped with a 1000-pixel matrix, and such a system will be used in a number of areas where high-precision measurements are required: secure communications, including satellite ones, quantum computing, and diagnostic medicine. The development is carried out within a contract with the Ministry of Industry and Trade of the Russian Federation.
The first attempts to detect single photons were made at the beginning of the 20th century via electronic lamps, photoelectronic multipliers. However, the first devices, due to the weak technological component, worked slowly, sometimes did not work, and sometimes they worked falsely. Then there were semiconductor devices: avalanche photodiodes, which worked better, but only with visible light. A significant breakthrough was made in the early 2000s when the team of Russian physicist Grigory Goltsman founded the company “Skontel”, created a single-pixel photo detector of single infrared photons on superconductors.
Now in 2020, as part of NUST MISIS NTI Center “Quantum Communications”, the team is developing a 1000-pixel single photon video detector within a contract with the Ministry of Industry and Trade of the Russian Federation. The device, which has no analogues in the world, will not only detect particles, but also get an image in almost complete darkness. At the moment, the first stage has been completed and 8 pixels have been created. According to scientists, this number already allows one to understand and control the principles of the matrix. The next step is scaling.