Measuring Nanowire-Substrates Thermal Boundary Conductance

Any modifications within the floor or dimension in nanoscale gadgets alter their thermal transport. Therefore, controlling thermal transport is crucial in these gadgets.

Measuring Nanowire-Substrates Thermal Boundary Conductance with Ease

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Examine: Self-heating hotspots in superconducting nanowires cooled by phonon black-body radiation. Picture Credit score:

Inside this framework, the efficiency metrics of a single-photon detector based mostly on a superconducting nanowire are influenced by the thermal boundary conductance between the substrate and the nanowire.

As a result of lack of an easy characterization methodology, understanding thermal boundary conductance in superconducting nanowire gadgets stays unclear. An article revealed within the journal Nature Communications introduced a simple methodology for measuring the thermal boundary conductance between nanowires and substrates quantitatively.

These measurements agree with acoustic mismatch concept for a broad vary of substrates. Regardless of performing numerical simulations, the open query on the mechanism underlying thermal boundary conductance remained unanswered. The current work may function steerage for the thermal engineering of next-generation superconducting nanowire single-photon detectors.

Superconducting Nanowire Single-Photon Detectors

Single photons are quantum creatures which can be enticing candidates for serving as a medium in quantum expertise. Thus, single-photon detectors are a pivot expertise for realizing the potential of quantum photonic programs.

A superconducting nanowire is an attention-grabbing mesoscopic 1-dimensional (1D) object, a elementary requirement for varied quantum applied sciences. Regardless of the potential of superconducting nanowires to thoroughly alter the warmth switch in a nanoscale system, their thermal properties are sometimes studied by the way.

Superconducting nanowire single-photon detectors have a singular mixture of velocity by way of high-count charges, low timing jitter, excessive detection efficiencies, and low darkish depend charges, making them fascinating detectors for all kinds of purposes.

Part slip in a skinny superconducting wire happens on the size of the superconducting coherence size, and phase-slip coherent tunneling is affected by heating in phase-slip junctions. Superconducting nanowire single-photon detectors depend on localized hotspots to detect infrared photons. Right here, the power deposited into the superconducting nanowire single-photon detectors is steadily launched into the substrate as phonons.

The thermal boundary conductance between the dielectric substrates and superconducting nanowire single-photon detectors was the determinant of the gadget’s efficiency. Throughout the early stage of photodetection, the photon power absorbed by superconducting nanowire single-photon detectors is split into phonon excitations and quasiparticles.

Consequently, the power accessible to distort the superconducting state is decreased. Pair-breaking phonons that escape into the substrate decrease the thermal boundary conductance and enhance the detection effectivity in a tool.

Self-Heating Hotspots in Superconducting Nanowire

Within the current work, the thermal boundary conductance between superconducting nanowires and substrates was quantified by measuring the self-heating hotspot present (Ihs), which is the present required to maintain a hotspot contained in the nanowire.

Though one of these quantification was beforehand reported, it was restricted to the micrometer scale, one substrate sort, and didn’t match the theoretical expectations. Moreover, some values for the thermal boundary conductance reported within the literature had been bigger than the theoretical values. In distinction, the reinterpretation of others via the current scheme agreed with the theoretical values.

Moreover, earlier research on superconducting nanowire single-photon and associated detectors usually used a linearized warmth switch mannequin, which was demonstrated to be incompatible with the obtained knowledge.

To measure the thermal boundary conductance between superconducting nanowires and substrates and to attribute the self-heating hotspots in nanowires, the measurements of Ihs (tub temperature, Tb) for 17 NbN nanowires had been in contrast throughout six totally different substrate supplies utilizing experimental and finite aspect electrothermal simulations.

The outcomes revealed that the current methodology works nicely to extract the thermal boundary conductance. Nevertheless, the extraction of exponent n that describes the facility regulation cooling to the substrate doesn’t fetch dependable outcomes.

The current methodology was primarily utilized to nanowire gadgets constructed from the identical supplies and designs to course of state-of-the-art superconducting nanowire single-photon detectors. Furthermore, the current methodology lacked particular necessities, akin to gadget design or experimental setup, that are typical necessities in earlier superconducting nanowire single-photon detector measurements.


In conclusion, the current methodology of extracting the thermal boundary conductance was easy, and the extracted values matched these anticipated by way of acoustic modeling to an ideal diploma. Furthermore, electrothermal simulations illustrate the circumstances required to acquire higher accuracy.

Whereas earlier reviews on related measurements lacked the understanding of the mechanism of thermal boundary conductance as a result of lack of comparability with theoretical expectations, reanalyzing the information with the proposed scheme confirmed a superb settlement with the present mannequin.

Thus, the current research demonstrated that superconducting nanowires ready for high-efficiency single-photon detection may function a promising platform to probe warmth switch phenomena on the nanoscale, facilitating investigations to yield improved detectors.


Dane, A. et al. (2022). Self-heating hotspots in superconducting nanowires cooled by phonon black-body radiation. Nature Communications.

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