Optical EngineeringSuperconducting quantum detectors
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The discovery of high-temperature superconductors (HTS) spawned many potential applications, including optical detectors. Realizing viable superconducting detectors requires achieving performance superior to competing and more mature semiconductor detector technologies, and quantum detector technologies in particular. We review why quantum detectors are inherently more sensitive than thermal or bolometric detectors. This sensitivity advantage suggests that for operation at cryogenic temperatures, we should be developing only quantum superconducting detectors. Accordingly, we introduce and describe the structure and the operation of a superconducting quantum detector with a superconducting quantum interference device (SQUID) readout circuit. The superconducting quantum detector, consisting of a superconducting loop, produces a photosignal in response to photoinduced changes in the superconducting condensate's kinetic inductance. The superconducting quantum detector is designed to operate only in the superconducting state and not in the resistive or transition states.