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