Self-Calibrating Superconducting Pair-Breaking Detector

E. T. Mannila, V. F. Maisi, J. P. Pekola

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We propose and experimentally demonstrate a self-calibrating detector of Cooper pair depairing in a superconductor based on a mesoscopic superconducting island coupled to normal metal leads. On average, exactly one electron passes through the device per broken Cooper pair, independent of the absorber volume, device, or material parameters. The device operation is explained by a simple analytical model and verified with numerical simulations in quantitative agreement with experiment. In a proof-of-concept experiment, we use such a detector to measure the high-frequency phonons generated by another, electrically decoupled superconducting island, with a measurable signal resulting from less than 10 fW of dissipated power.

Original languageEnglish
Article number147001
JournalPhysical Review Letters
Issue number14
Publication statusPublished - 2021 Oct 1

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Physical Sciences


Dive into the research topics of 'Self-Calibrating Superconducting Pair-Breaking Detector'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this