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Self-heating hotspots in superconducting nanowires cooled by phonon black-body radiation

Research output: Contribution to Journal/MagazineJournal articlepeer-review

E-pub ahead of print
  • Andrew Dane
  • Jason Allmaras
  • Di Zhu
  • Murat Onen
  • Marco Colangelo
  • Reza Baghdadi
  • Jean-Luc Tambasco
  • Yukimi Morimoto
  • Ignacio Estay Forno
  • Ilya Charaev
  • Qingyuan Zhao
  • Mikhail Skvortsov
  • Alexander Kozorezov
  • Karl K Berggren
Article number5429
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>16/09/2022
<mark>Journal</mark>Nature Communications
Issue number1
Number of pages8
Publication StatusE-pub ahead of print
Early online date16/09/22
<mark>Original language</mark>English


Controlling thermal transport is important for a range of devices and technologies, from phase change memories to next-generation electronics. This is especially true in nano-scale devices where thermal transport is altered by the influence of surfaces and changes in dimensionality. In superconducting nanowire single-photon detectors, the thermal boundary conductance between the nanowire and the substrate it is fabricated on influences all of the performance metrics that make these detectors attractive for applications. This includes the maximum count rate, latency, jitter, and quantum efficiency. Despite its importance, the study of thermal boundary conductance in superconducting nanowire devices has not been done systematically, primarily due to the lack of a straightforward characterization method. Here, we show that simple electrical measurements can be used to estimate the thermal boundary conductance between nanowires and substrates and that these measurements agree with acoustic mismatch theory across a variety of substrates. Numerical simulations allow us to refine our understanding, however, open questions remain. This work should enable thermal engineering in superconducting nanowire electronics and cryogenic detectors for improved device performance. [Abstract copyright: © 2022. The Author(s).]