Probing Kinetic Inductance Pulses below the Hotspot Activation Threshold of a Superconducting Nanowire

Jacob Glasby, Farzad Faramarzi, Sasha Sypkens, Peter Day, Karl Berggren, Philip Mauskopf

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Superconducting Nanowire Single Photon Detectors (SNSPDs) have demonstrated timing and efficiency properties that have placed them at the frontier in single photon sensing applications (e.g. photon counting, deep space optical communications, quantum communication, and quantum encryption). Properties such as timing jitter as low as 3 ps, dark counts under 90 counts per day, high detection efficiency (>90\%), short dead time and sensitivity over a wide range of photon energies (UV to IR). SNSPDs have a cutoff energy where the photon does not have enough energy to trigger the detection mechanism. In this paper, we lay out the framework and experimental setup to explore a modified approach in detecting photons below the cut off energy typical in an SNSPD. Leveraging the nanowire's change in kinetic inductance from photon absorption, the resulting voltage pulse is measured through a coupled quantum-noise-limited parametric amplifier. We consider nanowires with widths less than the vortex entry limit of w < 4.4\xi, where \xi is the coherence length, limiting the sources of noise.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number9380904
JournalIEEE Transactions on Applied Superconductivity
Issue number5
StatePublished - Aug 2021


  • Superconducting photodetectors
  • infrared detectors
  • nanosensors
  • nanowires

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


Dive into the research topics of 'Probing Kinetic Inductance Pulses below the Hotspot Activation Threshold of a Superconducting Nanowire'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this