Cooper Pair Breaking in Lead Measured by Pulsed Terahertz Spectroscopy

Document Type

Conference Proceeding


Physics (HMC)

Publication Date



A technique for characterizing pulsed far-infrared radiation with a demonstrated resolution of approximately 100 fs is used to measure directly Cooper pair breaking in superconducting lead. A 100-fs pulse of visible light is used to excite a thin-film lead sample while the Cooper pair density is optically probed using a pulse of broadband far-infrared radiation. Subsequent to the absorption of the visible pulse, a rapid (<1 >ps) change in the far-infrared optical transmission is observed, corresponding to the breaking of Cooper pairs. These results have implications for thin-film superconducting transmission lines carrying short electrical pulses.

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© 1993 IEEE

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