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Energy-resolved detection of single infrared photons with λ = 8 μm using a superconducting microbolometer

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7 Author(s)
Karasik, B.S. ; Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, California 91109, USA ; Pereverzev, Sergey V. ; Soibel, A. ; Santavicca, Daniel F.
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We report on the detection of single photons with λ = 8 μm using a superconducting hot-electron microbolometer. The sensing element is a titanium transition-edge sensor with a volume ∼0.1 μm3 fabricated on a silicon substrate. Poisson photon counting statistics including simultaneous detection of 3 photons was observed. The width of the photon-number peaks was 0.11 eV, 70% of the photon energy, at 50–100 mK. This achieved energy resolution is one of the best figures reported so far for superconducting devices. Such devices can be suitable for single-photon calorimetric spectroscopy throughout the mid-infrared and even the far-infrared.

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Applied Physics Letters  (Volume:101 ,  Issue: 5 )