Hot-spot relaxation time current dependence in niobium nitride waveguide-integrated superconducting nanowire single-photon detectors
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.