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BY-NC-ND 4.0 license Open Access Published by De Gruyter 2017

9. Physics and operation of superconducting single-photon devices

From the book Superconductors at the Nanoscale

  • Alexander Korneev , Alexander Semenov , Denis Vodolazov , Gregory N. Gol’tsman and Roman Sobolewski


The chapter reviews the main aspects of the physics of operation and performance of superconducting single-photon detectors (SSPDs) based on, mostly NbN, nanostripe meander-type structures and operated well below the superconductor transition temperature.We present theoreticalmodels developed to describe the photoresponse of superconducting nanostripes, as well as discuss mechanisms of SSPD generation of both photon-detection signals and dark counts. We also outline a standard SSPD fabrication process and discuss basic experimental techniques of SSPD characterization, focusing on the demonstration of its single-photon sensitivity and detection efficiency, as well as on measurements of the timing jitter. Finally, we give an outlook of future research directions and a quick overview of the vast area of SSPD applications.

© 2017 Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin/Munich/Boston
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