X-ray induced secondary particle counting with thin NbTiN nanowire superconducting detector

Artur Branny, Pierre Didier, Julien Zichi, Iman Esmaeil Zahed, Stephan Steinhauer, Val Zwiller, Ulrich Vogt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
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We characterized the performance of abiased superconducting nanowire to detect X-ray photons. The device, made of a 10 nm thin NbTiN film and fabricated on a dielectric substrate (SiO2, Nb3O5) detected 1000 times larger signal than anticipated from direct X-ray absorption. We attributed this effect to X-ray induced generation of secondary particles in the substrate. The enhancement corresponds to an increase in the flux by the factor of 3.6, relative to a state-of-the-art commercial X-ray silicon drift detector. The detector exhibited 8.25 ns temporal recovery time and 82 ps timing resolution, measured using optical photons. Our results emphasize the importance of the substrate in superconducting X-ray single photon detectors.

Original languageEnglish
Article number9380182
Number of pages5
JournalIEEE Transactions on Applied Superconductivity
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • Nanowire single photon detector
  • X-ray detection
  • niobium titanium nitride
  • superconducting thin film


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