Magic-Angle Bilayer Graphene Nanocalorimeters: Toward Broadband, Energy-Resolving Single Photon Detection

Paul Seifert, Xiaobo Lu, Petr Stepanov, José Ramón Durán Retamal, John N. Moore, Kin-chung Fong, Alessandro Principi, Dmitri K. Efetov

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Because of the ultralow photon energies at mid-infrared and terahertz frequencies, in these bands photodetectors are notoriously underdeveloped, and broadband single photon detectors (SPDs) are nonexistent. Advanced SPDs exploit thermal effects in nanostructured superconductors, and their performance is currently limited to the more energetic near-infrared photons due to their high electronic heat capacity. Here, we demonstrate a superconducting magic-angle bilayer graphene (MAG) device that is theoretically capable of detecting single photons of ultralow energies by utilizing its record-low heat capacity and sharp superconducting transition. We theoretically quantify its calorimetric photoresponse and estimate its detection limits. This device allows the detection of ultrabroad range single photons from the visible to sub-terahertz with a response time around 4 ns and energy resolution better than 1 THz. These attributes position MAG as an exceptional material for long-wavelength single photon sensing, which could revolutionize such disparate fields as quantum information processing and radio astronomy.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3459-3464
JournalNano Letters
Issue number5
Early online date21 Apr 2020
Publication statusPublished - 13 May 2020


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