Emerging materials for superconducting nanowire photon counting arrays

Nasti, Umberto (2020) Emerging materials for superconducting nanowire photon counting arrays. PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.

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Abstract

Superconducting nanowire single-photon detectors (SNSPDs) are the leading technology for low noise, high efficiency infrared single-photon detection. The basic SNSPD consists of a nanowire patterned in an ultrathin superconducting thin film, which is cooled below its critical temperature and biased close to its critical current. The absorption of a single-photon creates a resistive region, triggering a fast output voltage pulse which can be readily amplified and registered. The excellent performance of SNSPDs at near-infrared and telecommunications wavelengths has led to their adoption in important applications such as quantum secure communications, single-photon spectroscopy and single-photon LIDAR. A clear challenge for the SNSPD community is to extend the spectral range of SNSPDs into the mid infrared, and to improve material uniformity to enable the realization of large area arrays for multimode or free space coupling. The aim of this work is to evaluate potential materials for next generation mid-infrared SNSPD arrays. In this work, thin films of polycrystalline NbN and amorphous MoSi have been optimized to test the uniformity of a multipixel array configuration composed of 8 nanowire meander structures covering 10 um x 10 um area, 100 nm width and 50% filling factor. The 8-pixels SNSPD arrays have been patterned on 8 nm thickness NbN grown on high resistivity silicon (HR Si) substrate at room temperature and at 800 °C exhibiting respectively 4.4 K and 7.3 K as mean critical temperature across the pixels. The 8- pixels SNSPD array patterned on 8 nm thickness MoSi cooling the HR Si substrate to -180 °C has exhibited a mean critical temperature of 3.2 K across the pixels. Optical properties have been measured by an attenuated 1550 nm laser diode source delivered by single mode optical fibre at a controlled distance from the chip in order to broadly illuminate the array. The optical properties have been studied only for the 8 nm thickness NbN SNSPD array grown at room temperature has demonstrated uniform optical properties across pixels exhibiting similar saturation of the internal efficiency over a large bias, similar dark count rate and similar timing jitter (about 137 ps) across pixels. In the single photon regime at 1550 nm, pixels 4 and 6 of the 8 nm thickness NbN SNSPD array exhibit 28.4% and 4.7% pixel detection efficiency as measured at the bias current 95% of their respective critical current at 2.2 K.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: superconducting, nanowire, single photon, detector, low temperature, array, multipixels, telecommunications, detection efficiency.
Subjects: T Technology > TK Electrical engineering. Electronics Nuclear engineering
Colleges/Schools: College of Science and Engineering > School of Engineering > Electronics and Nanoscale Engineering
College of Science and Engineering > School of Engineering > James Watt Nanofabrication Centre
Funder's Name: European Research Council (ERC)
Supervisor's Name: Hadfield, Prof. Robert H.
Date of Award: 2020
Depositing User: Mr Umberto Nasti
Unique ID: glathesis:2020-81517
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 13 Jul 2020 13:54
Last Modified: 13 Jul 2020 16:33
URI: http://theses.gla.ac.uk/id/eprint/81517
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