Sensitivity of a superconducting nanowire detector for single ions at low energy

Author(s): M. Sclafani, M. Marksteiner, F. M. Keir, A. Divochiy, A. Korneev, A. Semenov, G. Goltsman, M. Arndt

Journal: Nanotechnology

Volume: 23

Page(s): 065501

Year: 2012

DOI Number: 10.1088/0957-4484/23/6/065501

Link: Link to publication


We report on the characterization of a superconducting nanowire detector for ions at low kinetic energies. We measure the absolute single-particle detection efficiency η and trace its increase with energy up to η = 100%. We discuss the influence of noble gas adsorbates on the cryogenic surface and analyze their relevance for the detection of slow massive particles. We apply a recent model for the hot-spot formation to the incidence of atomic ions at energies between 0.2 and 1 keV. We suggest how the differences observed for photons and atoms or molecules can be related to the surface condition of the detector and we propose that the restoration of proper surface conditions may open a new avenue for SSPD-based optical spectroscopy on molecules and nanoparticles.


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