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We present thorough measurements of the intrinsic detection efficiency in the wavelength range from 350 to 2500 nm for meander-type TaN and NbN superconducting nanowire single-photon detectors with different widths of the nanowire. The width varied from 70 nm to 130 nm. The open-beam configuration allowed us to accurately normalize measured spectra and to extract the intrinsic detection efficiency. For detectors from both materials the intrinsic detection efficiency at short wavelengths amounts at 100% and gradually decreases at wavelengths larger than the specific cut-off wavelengths, which decreases with the width of the nanowire. Furthermore, we show that applying weak magnetic fields perpendicular to the meander plane decreases the smallest detectable photon flux.
Date of Publication: June 2013