High-energy-resolution x-ray detection using multilayered superconducting tunnel junctions

Edward D. Rippert*, Shenian N. Song, Stevan R. Maglic, Susanne Lomatch, Jennifer F. Wang, Jun Chen, Christopher Thomas, John B. Ketterson, Melville P. Ulmer

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

3 Scopus citations


Superconducting tunnel junctions have a potential, statistically limited, energy resolution on the order of eV's. The best results to date, however, have been an order of magnitude worse than this and required operating temperatures on the order of 0.1 K. Niobium based junctions operating at approximately 1 K have shown X-ray detection capabilities, but have only achieved energy resolutions on the order of 100 eV's at best. Several mechanisms, including quasiparticle self trapping, loss of `hot' excitations, quasiparticle recombination, and loss of `cold' excitations, have been proposed to explain the degradation of energy resolution in these devices. We will present a design concept for an X-ray detector, along with recent experimental and computer modeling results, based on a 1D superlattice of superconducting tunnel junctions. This multilayered superconducting tunnel junction design has the potential for alleviating many of the potential resolution degrading mechanisms while operating in the 1 K temperature range. In addition, the possibility of engineering the device to improve the signal to noise ratio of the output and to control the transport of phonons in the structure will be discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
PublisherPubl by Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers
Number of pages12
ISBN (Print)0819414522, 9780819414526
StatePublished - 1994
EventSuperconducting Superlattices and Multilayers - Los Angeles, CA, USA
Duration: Jan 24 1994Jan 25 1994

Publication series

NameProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
ISSN (Print)0277-786X


OtherSuperconducting Superlattices and Multilayers
CityLos Angeles, CA, USA

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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