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Improved energy resolution of x-ray single photon imaging spectrometers using superconducting tunnel junctions

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6 Author(s)
Li, L. ; Departments of Applied Physics and Physics, Yale University, Connecticut 06520-8284 ; Frunzio, L. ; Wilson, C. ; Prober, D.E.
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We present measurements of the energy resolution of improved single-photon imaging x-ray spectrometers based on superconducting tunnel junctions. The devices have a Ta film absorber with an Al/AlOx/Al tunnel junction on each end. Recent device designs optimized for better quasiparticle cooling in the Al trap obtain an energy resolution of 13 eV full width at half maximum for a photon energy E=5.9 keV, an improvement of a factor of two over earlier devices. We also determined that the niobium contact used in previous devices degraded the energy resolution in the center section of the absorber. With a different contact configuration, we have eliminated this spatial broadening. © 2001 American Institute of Physics.

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Journal of Applied Physics  (Volume:90 ,  Issue: 7 )