We investigate how the bias current affects the hot-spot relaxation dynamics in niobium nitride. We use for this purpose a near-infrared pump-probe technique on a waveguide-integrated superconducting nanowire single-photon detector driven in the two-photon regime. We observe a strong increase in the picosecond relaxation time for higher bias currents. A minimum relaxation time of (22 ± 1) ps is obtained when applying a bias current of 50% of the switching current at 1.7 K bath temperature. We also propose a practical approach to accurately estimate the photon detection regimes based on the reconstruction of the measured detector tomography at different bias currents and for different illumination conditions.
The behavior of the TE and TM electromagnetic waves in graphene at the interface between two semi-infinite dielectric media is studied. The dramatic influence on the TE waves propagation even at very small changes in the optical contrast between the two dielectric media is predicted. Frequencies of the TE waves are found to lie only in the window determined by the contrast. We consider this effect in connection with the design of graphene-based optical gas sensor. Near the frequency, where the imaginary part of the conductivity of graphene becomes zero, ultrahigh refractive index sensitivity and very low detection limit are revealed. The considered graphene-based optical gas sensor outperforms characteristics of modern volume refractive index sensors by several orders of magnitude.