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1 September 2004 Spectral response of an infrared superconducting quantum detector
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We analyze the spectral performance of recently developed single-photon quantum detector that consists of a narrow, nanometer sized meander-line made from ultra-thin superconducting film. The detector exploits a combined detection mechanism, in which avalanche multiplication of quasiparticles after absorption of a single photon and the bias current jointly produce a normal domain that results in a voltage pulse developing between the meander ends. With either the wavelength increase or the bias current decrease, the single-photon detection regime exhibits a cut-off. The wavelength, at which the cut-off occurs, varies from infrared waves to visible light depending on the superconducting material and operation conditions. Structural and geometrical non-uniformities of the meander line smooth out the otherwise expected sharp drop of the detection efficiency beyond the cut-off. We refine the early detector model and propose a tentative explanation of how superconducting fluctuations may additionally extend the detection efficiency beyond the cut-off wavelength.
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Alexei D. Semenov, Andreas Engel, Heinz-Wilhelm Hübers, Konstantin Il'in, and Michael Siegel "Spectral response of an infrared superconducting quantum detector", Proc. SPIE 5459, Optical Sensing, (1 September 2004);

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