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The Role of Multiple Fluctuation Events in NbN and NbTiN Superconducting Nanostrip Single-Photon Detectors


We report on measurements of the switching current distributions on two-dimensional NbN superconducting nanostrip single-photon detectors (SNSPD), 5 nm thick and 80 nm wide, in an interval of temperatures from 6 K down to 0.3 K and compare the data with those obtained for similar NbTiN nanostrips. The standard deviations of the switching distributions show an extended region at high temperatures where multiple phase slip switching events occur. This is probably related to a decreasing critical current and an increasing electron and phonon heat capacities. In this temperature region, the width of the switching distribution, and therefore the dark count rate, is considerably reduced down to values below those observed at the lowest temperature. Finally, we also quantify the energy scale of the fluctuation phenomena. The proposed experimental approach may result in a powerful tool for the diagnostic of SNSPD operation mode.

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Parlato, L., Salvoni, D., Ejrnaes, M. et al. The Role of Multiple Fluctuation Events in NbN and NbTiN Superconducting Nanostrip Single-Photon Detectors. J Low Temp Phys 199, 6–11 (2020).

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  • Superconducting nanostrip single-photon detectors
  • Dark count rate
  • Fluctuation events