2013 Brian Pippard Prize

Professor Robert Hadfield is the winner of the 2013 Brian Pippard Prize, awarded annually by the Institute of Physics Superconductivity Group.

Professor David Cardwell, University of Cambridge, Chair of the selection panel, issued the following citation: “Robert Hadfield has very rapidly established an internationally-leading position in superconducting photon detectors in a relatively short period. His pioneering research on a new type of superconducting photon-counting detector based on niobium nitride nanowires offers excellent signal-to-noise and exquisite timing resolution, far outperforming conventional semiconductor devices at infrared wavelengths. Professor Hadfield has performed a series of compelling demonstrations with academic and industrial partners, bringing this superconducting technology forward into a host of new scientific fields, including quantum communications, remote sensing and laser medicine. He is awarded the 2013 Pippard Prize for sustained excellence over recent years and an outstanding contribution to the field of applied superconductivity.”

IoP Superconductivity Group

Sir Brian Pippard


Poster Prize November 2013

Robert Kirkwood won the prize for best PhD student poster at the Superconducting Devices and Applications workshop held at the UK National Physical Laboratory in Teddington on 22nd November. Congratulations Rob!


RK poster



New Group Members Autumn 2013

The Quantum Sensors group welcomes three new PhD research students this autumn:
Archan Banerjee, Luke Baker & Andrea Pizzone.


Archan completed his MSc in Photonics at the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Light in Erlangen, Germany, Luke completed his MPhys at the University of Cardiff, UK and Andrea completed his Masters in Electronic Engineering at the University of l’Aquila, Italy.


EngD Success August 2013

Cat Fitzpatrick has successfully completed her Engineering Doctorate (EngD).

She carried out her research on Single Photon Metrology, jointly supervised by Professor Robert Hadfield and Dr Alastair Sinclair at the UK National Physical Laboratory (NPL).

Congratulations Cat!

Cat EngD


Industrial Doctorate in Optics and Photonics Technologies

National Physical Laboratory


Papers Summer 2013

De Greve et al. ‘Complete tomography of a high-fidelity solid-state entangled spin-photon qubit pair’ Nature Communications 4  228 (2013)

Work carried out at Stanford, USA; collaboration enabled by the SU2P Science Bridges programme.

Link to Paper

Casaburi et al. ‘Current distribution in a parallel configuration superconducting strip-line detector’ Applied Physics Letters 103 013503 (2013)

Work carried in collaboration with CNR Naples, Italy.

Link to Paper

Burenkov et al. ‘Investigations of afterpulsing and detection efficiency recovery in superconducting nanowire single-photon detectors’ Journal of Applied Physics 113 213102 (2013)

Work carried out in collaboration with the University of Toronto, Canada

Link to Paper


Marie Curie Fellowship Award June  2013

Alessandro Casaburi has won a prestigious Marie Curie Fellowship from the European Commission. He will be working in Glasgow on the development of next generation superconducting single-photon detector arrays.

Congratulations Alessandro!


Paper April 2013

McCarthy et al. ‘Kilometer-range, high resolution depth imaging via 1560nm wavelength single photon detection’ Optics Express 21 8904 (2013)

Work carried in collaboration with Heriot-Watt University.

This is the most downloaded article of April 2013 across all Optical Society of America (OSA) journals.


Optics Express Open Access article

Multimedia: depth imaging movie

News Items

BBC News

Wired Magazine

Laser Focus World

OSA News

OpEx_-_depth_imaging_-_fig2 (1)

Topical Review Highlighted March 2013

One year after publication our topical review Superconducting nanowire single photon-detectors: physics and applications has been downloaded over 3000 times.  It is the most frequently downloaded and cited article in the IOP Journal Superconductor Science and Technology, and has been selected as a Highlight of 2012.

Open Access Article

SUST Highlights of 2012

SUST Highlights of 2012

Gold Medal March 2013

Professor Robert Hadfield has been awarded the 2012 Gold Medal of the Institute of Refrigeration.  This an annual international prize for the most noteworthy contribution to advancements in refrigeration and related technologies.  This is in recognition of our successful work in implementing advanced superconducting detectors into practical systems for infrared photo-counting.

New Items:

University of Glasgow

Institute of Refrigeration


IOP Publishing

Gold medal 2 small

Paper February 2013

New paper on singlet oxygen luminescence detection
(in collaboration with Heriot-Watt, Delft, McMaster and Toronto)

Gemmell et al. ‘Singlet oxygen luminescence detection with a fiber coupled superconducting nanowire single-photon detector’ Optics Express 21 505 (2012)

Nathan Gemmell won the student poster prize at the Scottish Physics Alliance Physics and Life Sciences (SUPA-PALS) meeting at Heriot-Watt University on 27th February for this work.  Congratulations Nathan!

Optics Express Open Access article

Virtual Journal of Biomedical Optics

Nature Photonics Research Highlight


BioOptics World

Cuvette + graph 3 Thumbnail