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Chulkova, G., Milostnaya, I., Tarkhov, M., Korneev, A., Minaeva, O., Voronov, B., et al. (2006). Superconducting single-photon nanostructured detectors for advanced optical applications. In Proc. Symposium on Photonics Technologies for 7th Framework Program (Vol. 400).
Abstract: We present superconducting single-photon detectors (SSPDs) based on NbN thin-film nanostructures and operated at liquid helium temperatures. The SSPDs are made of ultrathin NbN films (2.5-4 nm thick, Tc= 9-11K) as meander-shaped nanowires covering the area of 10× 10 µm2. Our detectors are operated at the temperature well below the critical temperature Tc and are DC biased by a current Ib close to the meander critical current Ic. The operation principle of the detector is based on the use of the resistive region in a narrow ultra-thin superconducting stripe upon the absorption of an incident photon. The developed devices demonstrate high sensitivity and response speed in a broadband range from UV to mid-IR (up to 6 µm), making them very attractive for advanced optical technologies, which require efficient detectors of single quanta and low-density optical radiation.