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Superconducting Al-trilayer tunnel junctions for use as X-ray detectors

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5 Author(s)
M. C. Gaidis ; Dept. of Appl. Phys., Yale Univ., New Haven, CT, USA ; S. Friedrich ; D. E. Prober ; S. H. Moseley
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Photolithographic techniques have been developed to fabricate high-quality Al-Al oxide-Al superconducting tunnel junctions for use in X-ray detectors. These devices are designed to incorporate approximately=1- mu m-thick superconducting X-ray absorbers for the detection of <10-keV single photons. In an effort to increase energy resolution, superconductor bandgap engineering with lateral and vertical trapping has been used to shorten quasi-particle tunneling times and diffusion lengths and to prevent quasi-particle diffusion away from the tunnel junction. Methods that have been developed for overcoming materials incompatibility and device degradation upon thermal cycling are reported. The authors also report on the use of a nonrectangular tunnel junction geometry which reduces the magnetic field needed to suppress the Josephson current for stable biasing. Work in progress to measure the energy resolution of these X-ray detectors at 0.35 K is also discussed.<>

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IEEE Transactions on Applied Superconductivity  (Volume:3 ,  Issue: 1 )