The detection of individual quanta of light is important for quantum communication, fluorescence lifetime imaging, remote sensing and more. Due to their high detection efficiency, exceptional signal-to-noise ratio and fast recovery times, superconducting-nanowire single-photon detectors (SNSPDs) have become a critical component in these applications. However, the operation of conventional SNSPDs requires costly cryocoolers. Here we report the fabrication of two types of high-temperature superconducting nanowires. We observe linear scaling of the photon count rate on the radiation power at the telecommunications wavelength of 1.5 μm and thereby reveal single-photon operation. SNSPDs made from thin flakes of Bi2Sr2CaCu2O8+δ exhibit a single-photon response up to 25 K, and for SNSPDs from La1.55Sr0.45CuO4/La2CuO4 bilayer films, this response is observed up to 8 K. While the underlying detection mechanism is not fully understood yet, our work expands the family of materials for SNSPD technology beyond the liquid helium temperature limit and suggests that even higher operation temperatures may be reached using other high-temperature superconductors.
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The data reported in Figs. 2–4 can be found on Zenodo (https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.7501827). The other data that support the findings of this study are available from the corresponding authors upon reasonable request.
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Work in the P.J.H. group was partly supported through AFOSR grant FA9550-21-1-0319, through the NSF QII-TAQS programme (grant 1936263), and the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation EPiQS Initiative through grant GBMF9463 to P.J.H. I.Y.P acknowledges support from the MIT undergraduate research opportunities programme and the Johnson & Johnson research scholars programme. K.K.B. and group members acknowledge support from Brookhaven Science Associates, LLC award number 030814-00001. K.W. and T.T. acknowledge support from JSPS KAKENHI (grant numbers 19H05790, 20H00354 and 21H05233). Thin-film synthesis and characterization at Brookhaven National Laboratory was supported by the US Department of Energy, Basic Energy Sciences, Materials Sciences and Engineering Division. H.X. was supported by the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation’s EPiQS Initiative through grant GBMF9074. O. Medeiros acknowledges funding from the NDSEG Fellowship Program. We acknowledge valuable discussions with S. Rescia (BNL) and G. Carini (BNL) and their significant help during the planning and development of this research work. The authors thank J. Daley and M. Mondol of the MIT Nanostructures laboratory for the technical support related to electron-beam fabrication and helium ion microscopy. We also thank F. Zhao (Harvard), Prof. Schilling (UZH) and M. Karmantsov (MMDES) for helpful discussions.
The authors declare no competing interests.
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Charaev, I., Bandurin, D.A., Bollinger, A.T. et al. Single-photon detection using high-temperature superconductors. Nat. Nanotechnol. 18, 343–349 (2023). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41565-023-01325-2
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