Low-frequency phase locking in high-inductance superconducting nanowires

Hadfield, R.H. , Miller, A.J., Nam, S.W., Kautz, R.L. and Schwall, R.E. (2005) Low-frequency phase locking in high-inductance superconducting nanowires. Applied Physics Letters, 87(20), p. 203505. (doi: 10.1063/1.2130525)

Full text not currently available from Enlighten.


Niobium nitride nanowires show considerable promise as high-speed single-photon detectors. We report the observation of an anomalous low-frequency ( ∼ 10 MHz) response in long, superconducting NbN nanowires (100 nm wide, 4 nm thick, and 500 μm long). This behavior, although strikingly reminiscent of the ac Josephson effect, can be explained by a relaxation oscillation resulting from the high kinetic inductance of the type II nanowire. We simulate all of the observed effects using a simple resistive-hotspot/series-inductor model. The voltage pulses observed are indistinguishable from the pulses induced by visible photons, and our observations suggest noise-induced relaxation oscillations are one mechanism for the dark counts in photon detectors.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Hadfield, Professor Robert
Authors: Hadfield, R.H., Miller, A.J., Nam, S.W., Kautz, R.L., and Schwall, R.E.
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > School of Engineering > Electronics and Nanoscale Engineering
Journal Name:Applied Physics Letters
Published Online:08 November 2005

University Staff: Request a correction | Enlighten Editors: Update this record