Science

The focus of the laboratory is on the interaction of radiation with nano-scale objects, primarily superconductors.

We are experimentalists, in interaction with theorists, and we use the nano fabrication tools, available for our laboratory, to make new objects, which we study to reveal their physical processes. We are doing that at a range of temperatures, which can be as low as 20 mK.

  • Quantum photonics

Detecting photons with superconducting nanowires has been pioneered at MSPU and covers now the optical to IR range. Further improvement requires new materials and an extension to the THz range. Nanodevices have the potential to be able to detect single THz photons, which could be based on nanowires, nanotubes etc

  • Radiation-detection for astronomy

Because astronomical signals are faint they push the demands for sensitive detection. Superconducting hot-electron bolometers have been known for some time, but they are continuously being improved, due to improved nanotechnology, combined with a better understanding of their behavior. They have been used in the instrument HIFI of ESA’s Herschel Space telescope (which flew in 2009-2013). They are also a prime candidate for the Russian space mission called Millimetron

  • Local electrodynamics of quantum matter

The interaction of light, of various frequencies, provides information on new materials. In many of the new materials the electronic properties are not uniformly distributed and may differ on nanometer length scales. This occurs in materials like NbN and TiN, but also in many of the new superconducting materials. New ways to measure locally the electrodynamics are needed and are being developed.

  • Quantum phase slip devices

Apart from manipulating the Cooper pairs and the quasi-particles of a superconductor for the detection of photons, one can also let microwaves interact with the macroscopic phase of the superconductor. Materials like NbN and TiN are very suitable for these experiments.