Tantalum nitride superconducting single-photon detectors with low cut-off energy

A. Engel, A. Aeschbacher, K. Inderbitzin, A. Schilling, K. Il’in, M. Hofherr, M. Siegel, A. Semenov, H.-W. Hübers
  • Applied Physics Letters, February 2012, American Institute of Physics
  • DOI: 10.1063/1.3684243

Fast Single-Photon Detector

What is it about?

To be able to detect single quanta of light, so called photons, is a key requisite in many areas of science and technology, e.g. quantum communication. One of the fastest detectors able to detect single photons over a broad wavelength range from optical to infrared light, is based on superconducting nanowires. In this work we present results on such a detector using an alternative superconducting material as compared to previous detectors and we discuss possible advantages of the new material.

Why is it important?

The new detector material, TaN, not only increases the detectors suitable wavelength range to lower energy photons, it may also be key to realize ultrafast detectors able to detect x-ray photons with this technology.

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