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Article

Effect of the wire width on the intrinsic detection efficiency of superconducting-nanowire single-photon detectors

Journal of Applied Physics. 2014. Vol. 116. No. 4. P. 043906-1-043906-9.
Lusche R., Semenov A., Ilin K., Siegel M., Korneeva Y., Trifonov A., Korneev A., Goltsman G., Vodolazov D., Hübers H.

A thorough spectral study of the intrinsic single-photon detection efficiency in superconducting TaN and NbN nanowires with different widths has been performed. The experiment shows that the cut-off of the intrinsic detection efficiency at near-infrared wavelengths is most likely controlled by the local suppression of the barrier for vortex nucleation around the absorption site. Beyond the cut-off quasi-particle diffusion in combination with spontaneous, thermally activated vortex crossing explains the detection process. For both materials, the reciprocal cut-off wavelength scales linearly with the wire width where the scaling factor agrees with the hot-spot detection model.