Swabian Instruments sets the stage for academic excellence with a single photon random sampling setup for students

| on 12 December 2023

Swabian Instruments went into partnership with Baden-Wuerttemberg Cooperative State University (DHBW) by supporting its educational initiative of creating a setup enabling students to perform Single Photon Random Sampling Experiments. This setup is based on our innovative and easy-to-use Time Tagger technology and allows the visualization of fast signals in the optical domain.

The random optical sampling setup utilizes an off-the-shelf SFP+ laser module, which is driven by a custom FPGA design that generates a repetitive pattern. The output of the laser module is largely attenuated by a 20 cm air gap, and a fraction of the intensity is picked up with an optical fiber and directed to a Single Photon Avalanche Detector (SPAD). The SPAD is connected to the Swabian Instruments multichannel time-to-digital converter Time Tagger 20, which also receives a trigger signal at the start of each new repetition of the pattern generated by the FPGA.

On every repetition of the pattern, the Time Tagger 20 will receive at most one single photon click due to the large attenuation of the air gap and calculate the time difference between the trigger signal and this click. By measuring many of these clicks and plotting the time differences in a histogram, the original signal can be reconstructed by analyzing the envelope of the histogram.

The whole setup is controlled by software written in Python, utilizing the Time Tagger’s convenient API. Therefore, this experimental setup will not only help students deepen their understanding of fundamental principles of single photon behavior but also enhance their skills in working with research setups and experimental data

We believe in the transformative power of accessible education, envisioning a future where every individual has the tools and knowledge needed to thrive. That is why we are delighted that we can help future professionals excel in their skills and expertise and help them pave ways to reach their ambitious goals.