We show that a weak external magneticfield affects significantly non-equilibrium quasiparticle (QP) distributions under the conditions of the inverse proximity effect using the single-electron hybrid turnstile as a generic example. Inverse proximity suppresses the superconducting gap in superconducting leads in the vicinity of turnstile junctions, thus trapping hot QPs in this region. An external magnetic field creates additional QP traps in the leads in the form of vortices or regions with a reduced superconducting gap resulting in the release of QPs away from junctions. We present a clear experimental evidence of the interplay of the inverse proximity effect and magnetic field revealing itself in the superconducting gap enhancement and significant improvement of the turnstile characteristics. The observed interplay and its theoretical explanation in the context of QP overheating are important for various superconducting and hybrid nanoelectronic devices, whichfind applications in quantum computation, photon detection and quantum metrology.
We demonstrate experimentally that single photon detection can be achieved in micron-wide NbN bridges, with widths ranging from 0.53\,μm to 5.15\,μm and for photon-wavelengths from 408\,nm to 1550\,nm. The microbridges are biased with a dc current close to the experimental critical current, which is estimated to be about 50\the theoretically expected depairing current. These results offer an alternative to the standard superconducting single-photon detectors (SSPDs), based on nanometer scale nanowires implemented in a long meandering structure. The results are consistent with improved theoretical modeling based on the theory of non-equilibrium superconductivity including the vortex-assisted mechanism of initial dissipation.
We analyze the evolution of the normal and superconducting properties of epitaxial TiN films, characterized by high Ioffe-Regel parameter values, as a function of the film thickness. As the film thickness decreases, we observe an increase of the residual resistivity, that becomes dominated by diffusive surface scattering for d≤20nm. At the same time, a substantial thickness-dependent reduction of the superconducting critical temperature is observed compared to the bulk TiN value. In such high-quality material films, this effect can be explained by a weak magnetic disorder residing in the surface layer with a characteristic magnetic defect density of approximately 10^12cm^−2. Our results suggest that surface magnetic disorder is generally present in oxidized TiN films
We investigate thermal properties of a NbN single-photon detector capable of unit internal detec- tion efficiency. Using an independent calibration of the coupling losses we determine the absolute optical power absorbed by the NbN film and, via a resistive superconductor thermometry, the ther- mal resistance Z(T) of the NbN film in dependence of temperature. In principle, this approach permits a simultaneous measurement of the electron-phonon and phonon-escape contributions to the energy relaxation, which in our case is ambiguous for their similar temperature dependencies. We analyze the Z(T) within the two-temperature model and impose an upper bound on the ratio of electron and phonon heat capacities in NbN, which is surprisingly close to a recent theoretical lower bound for the same quantity in similar devices.