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Ion irradiated microbridges are an interesting type of Josephson junction, because their technological requirements can be very low. In this paper a specialized fabrication process and the electrical characterization of the fabricated devices are reported on. The I/sub C/R/sub N/ product at 77 K is about 24 /spl mu/V. The phase coherence was proven by measurements on DC-SQUIDs made of these junctions. To get a deeper insight of the damage produced by ion irradiation, YBa/sub 2/Cu/sub 3/O/sub 7-x/, thin films have been investigated by high resolution transmission electron microscopy (HRTEM) and Rutherford backscattering spectroscopy (RBS).