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Proceedings Paper

Optimization of niobium tunnel junctions as x-ray detectors
Author(s): Gregory G. Saulnier; Robert A. Zacher; Deborah Van Vechten; Craig Nelson Boyer; Michael N. Lovellette; Gilbert G. Fritz; Robert J. Soulen; Joonhee Kang; Mark G. Blamire; Eugenie C.G. Kirk; Robert E. Somekh
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Paper Abstract

We report on our ongoing work using Nb/Al/AIOx!Nb junctions for the detection ofx-rays. Detectors based on superconducting tunneling junctions offer the prospect of resolution over an order of magnitude higher than is obtainable with the current generation of semiconductor-based detectors. Unlike Sn junctions, these Nb-based devices are not degraded by repeated thermal cycling and are known to be exceptionally "radiation hard". We present results on measurements taken at 1.85 K, a temperature achievable with current space flight technology. These measurements include the current-voltage (1-V) curve, subgap current vs. temperature, the dependence of the superconducting current on the applied magnetic field (Fraunhofer pattern), x-ray pulses, and the spectra from a 6 keV x-ray source which gave an intrinsic device resolution of approximately 700 eV. A comparison of the x-ray spectrum peak with a known injected pulse of 105 electrons indicates the collection of more than 105electrons per 6 keV photon.

Paper Details

Date Published: 8 October 1992
PDF: 10 pages
Proc. SPIE 1743, EUV, X-Ray, and Gamma-Ray Instrumentation for Astronomy III, (8 October 1992); doi: 10.1117/12.130662
Show Author Affiliations
Gregory G. Saulnier, Naval Research Lab. (United States)
Robert A. Zacher, Naval Research Lab. (United States)
Deborah Van Vechten, Naval Research Lab. (United States)
Craig Nelson Boyer, Naval Research Lab. (United States)
Michael N. Lovellette, Naval Research Lab. (United States)
Gilbert G. Fritz, Naval Research Lab. (United States)
Robert J. Soulen, Naval Research Lab. (United States)
Joonhee Kang, Westinghouse Science and Technology Ctr. (United States)
Mark G. Blamire, Univ. of Cambridge (United Kingdom)
Eugenie C.G. Kirk, Univ. of Cambridge (United Kingdom)
Robert E. Somekh, Univ. of Cambridge (United Kingdom)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 1743:
EUV, X-Ray, and Gamma-Ray Instrumentation for Astronomy III
Oswald H. W. Siegmund, Editor(s)

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