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Statistical studies on the performance of different superconducting nanowire single-photon detectors (SNSPDs) on one chip suggested that random constrictions existed in the nanowire that were barely registered by scanning electron microscopy. With the aid of advanced e-beam lithography, artificial geometric constrictions were fabricated on SNSPDs as well as single nanowires. In this way, we studied the influence of artificial constrictions on SNSPDs in a straight forward manner. By introducing artificial constrictions with different wire widths in single nanowires, we concluded that the dark counts of SNSPDs originate from a single constriction. Further introducing artificial constrictions in SNSPDs, we studied the relationship between detection efficiency and kinetic inductance and the bias current, confirming the hypothesis that constrictions exist in SNSPDs.


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