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Jitter is one of the key parameters for a superconducting nanowire single photon detector (SNSPD). Using an optimized time-correlated single photon counting system for jitter measurement, we extensively studied the dependence of system jitter on the bias current and working temperature. The signal-to-noise ratio of the single-photon-response pulse was proven to be an important factor in system jitter. The final system jitter was reduced to 18 ps by using a high-critical-current SNSPD, which showed an intrinsic SNSPD jitter of 15 ps. A laser ranging experiment using a 15-ps SNSPD achieved a record depth resolution of 3 mm at a wavelength of 1550 nm.


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