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.
Subject classification (UKÄ)
- Physical Sciences