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Product Studies

This page lists product studies or prototypes designed by our R&D department. Please note that items presented on this page are not necessarily readily available products. Feel free to contact us, if you are interested or want to contribute to any product study shown here.

Cryogenic Preamplifier

Very low jitter preamplifier for SNSPDs with low power consumption and passive latching protection

  • Single stage (17 dB) or dual stage (35 dB) cryogenic amplfier
  • Frequency range 150 MHz to 3 GHz
  • Optimal performance at a very low power consumption of only 5mW/channel/stage (can be biased up to 18 mW)
  • SMP or SMA connectors
  • Passive latching protection and maximum detection efficiency maintained at high count rates 


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These cryogenic preamplifiers have been designed for a very low power consumption at yet sufficient amplification factors for SNSPDs with typical bias currents. They are available in two versions with either 17dB (single stage) or 35dB (dual stage) amplification. Their low power consumption of only 5mW per channel and stage are perfectly matched to applications at cryogenic temperatures. They are designed to sit on the 50K-stage of typical cryocoolers, hence further alleviating the problem of thermal load. The preamplifiers have been tested in combinations with SNSPD detectors in a BMBF funded research project. Compared to other commercially available cryogenic preamplifiers, these preamplifiers yield nearly equivalent performance, yet at much lower energy consumption and corresponding lower thermal load for the cryostat. In addition, the preamplifiers feature a passive latching protection for SNSPDs, which allows operating the SNSPDs at their optimal bias point, even at highest count rates. A bias-tee and low-pass filtered biasing-resistor (100k) is already included in the design.

8-channel cryogenic preamplifier layoutDetails of the performance, also in comparison to other preamplifiers can be found in the paper „Scaling waveguide-integrated superconducting nanowire single-photon detector solutions to large numbers of independent optical channels“ from Matthias Häußler, et.al., https://arxiv.org/abs/2207.12060

The preamplifiers are flexible in design and can be fitted with different connectors (SMP, SMA,..) as well as in different housings, depending on the individual needs. Their very low power consumption also makes them ideally suited for applications requiring multi-channel amplification at cryogenic temperatures. Designs with up to 64 single stage preamplifers mounted at the 50K stage of a compact cryostat have already been realized as described in Robin Terhaar, et.al, Ultrafast quantum key distribution using fully parallelized quantum channels", https://arxiv.org/abs/2207.07345

Matching single/dual stage room temperature preamplifiers have also been developed and complete the preamplification chain. With both preamplifiers cascaded signal amplitudes suited for modern TCSPC-devices can be readily obtained.

timing performance of the preamplifier

Timing performance of the preamplifier compared to a dedicated single stage cryogenic preamplifier on the 3K stage of the cryostat. The preamplifiers yield nearly equivalent performance, yet at much lower energy consumption and corresponding lower thermal load for the cryostat.

Adapted from fig. 10 of Matthias Häußler, et.al., https://arxiv.org/abs/2207.12060

SNSPD latching protection

The passive latching protection of the preamplfier allow to operate the SNSPDs at much higher count rate, compared to other preamplifier solutions. While other preamplifier require to reduce the operating current and thus performance of the SNSPDs, our preamplifier show no latching at different operation currents.

Adapted from fig. 12 of Matthias Häußler, et.al., https://arxiv.org/abs/2207.12060


  Single stage Dual stage
Frequency range 100 MHz to 3 GHz 150 MHz to 3 GHz
Gain 17 dB 35 dB
Gain flatness 1.5 dB 5 dB
NF - Noise Figure: <3 dB <3 dB
Operating voltage 1.8 V 1.8 V
Operating current: 2.5 - 10 mA 5-20 mA
Number of channels 1 1
Bias-Tee yes yes
Power consumption 5 mW (up to 18 mW) 10 mW (up to 36 mW)
Input reflection (S11) < -14 dB < -12 dB
Output reflection (S22) < -17 dB < - 7 dB
Connectors* SMP SMA -SMP
Form factor *
(single channel design)
PCB 38mm x 10mm x 4mm PCB 37 mm x 10 mm x (4-6) mm
Special feature passive latching protection for SNSPDs

* other connectors and form factors available on request


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