Intrinsic detection efficiency of superconducting nanowire single-photon detectors with different thicknesses

M. Hofherr, D. Rall, K. Ilin, M. Siegel, A. Semenov, H. W. Hübers, N. A. Gippius

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75 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

We evaluate experimentally the intrinsic detection efficiency (IDE) of superconducting NbN nanowire single-photon detectors in the range of wire thicknesses from 4 to 12 nm. The study is performed in the broad spectral interval between near-ultraviolet (wavelength 400 nm) and near-infrared (wavelength 2000 nm) light with plane waves at normal incidence. For visible light the IDE of the thinnest detectors reaches 70%. We use numerically computed absorptance of the nanowire-structures for the analysis of the experimental data. Variations in the detection efficiency with both the wire thickness and the wavelength evidence the red boundary of the hot-spot photon-detection mechanism. We explain the detection at larger wavelengths invoking thermal excitation of magnetic Pearl vortices over the potential barrier at the edges of the wire.

Original languageEnglish
Article number014507
JournalJournal of Applied Physics
Volume108
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2010
Externally publishedYes

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