We investigate the absorption properties of U-shaped niobium nitride (NbN) nanowires atop nanophotonic circuits. Nanowires as narrow as 20nm are realized in direct contact with Si3N4 waveguides and their absorption properties are extracted through balanced measurements. We perform a full characterization of the absorption coefficient in dependence of length, width and separation of the fabricated nanowires, as well as for waveguides with different cross-section and etch depth. Our results show excellent agreement with finite-element analysis simulations for all considered parameters. The experimental data thus allows for optimizing absorption properties of emerging single-photon detectors co-integrated with telecom wavelength optical circuits.
Semiconductor nanostructures: electronic, optical properties, formation methods