Eur. Phys. J. Appl. Phys.
Volume 47, Number 1, July 2009
|Number of page(s)||6|
|Published online||14 May 2009|
Impedance model for the polarization-dependent optical absorption of superconducting single-photon detectors
Huygens Laboratory, Leiden University, P.O. Box 9504, 2300 RA Leiden, The Netherlands
2 Kavli Institute for Nanoscience, Delft University of Technology, Lorentzweg 1, 2628 CE Delft, The Netherlands
Corresponding author: firstname.lastname@example.org
Accepted: 9 March 2009
Published online: 14 May 2009
We measured the single-photon detection efficiency of NbN superconducting single-photon detectors as a function of the polarization state of the incident light for different wavelengths in the range from 488 nm to 1550 nm. The polarization contrast varies from ~5% at 488 nm to ~30% at 1550 nm, in good agreement with numerical calculations. We use an optical-impedance model to describe the absorption for polarization parallel to the wires of the detector. For the extremely lossy NbN material, the absorption can be kept constant by keeping the product of layer thickness and filling factor constant. As a consequence, the maximum possible absorption is independent of filling factor. By illuminating the detector through the substrate, an absorption efficiency of ~70% can be reached for a detector on Si or GaAs, without the need for an optical cavity.
PACS: 85.25.-j – Superconducting devices / 13.88.+e – Polarization in interactions and scattering
© EDP Sciences, 2009
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