We demonstrate the narrow switching distribution of an underdamped Josephson junction from the zero to the finite voltage state at millikelvin temperatures. We argue that such junctions can be used as ultrasensitive detectors of the single photons in the GHz range, operating close to the quantum limit: a given initial (zero voltage) state can be driven by an incoming signal to the finite voltage state. The width of the switching distribution at a nominal temperature of about T = 10 mK was 4.5 nA, which corresponds to an effective noise temperature of the device below 60 mK.
- electric sensing devices
- superconducting device noise
- superconducting junction devices
- superconducting photodetectors