Non-equilibrium dynamics in superconducting tunnel junction detectors

L. J. Hiller, Simon E. Labov, C. A. Mears, M. Frank, A. F. Bello, A. T. Barfknecht

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Superconducting tunnel junctions have the potential to serve as high-resolution, high-efficiency x-ray detectors for astrophysical and industrial applications. When irradiated by X rays, each X ray excites over 106 charge carriers which cause the detector to generate a pulse of current. We present an analysis of pulse shapes from detectors we have constructed and operated. We fit the decay of the current pulse to a simple model that considers two classes of carrier loss. One model considers only the normal recombination of the charge carriers with themselves, the other included additional losses due to recombination sites in the within the detector medium. We found that both mechanisms must be taken into account. We also found a small variation in pulse shape depending on which layer of the tunnel junction absorbed the X ray. We expect that this analysis will be a useful tool in comparing different detector designs and operating conditions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)382-392
Number of pages11
JournalProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
StatePublished - Sep 16 1994
Externally publishedYes
EventEUV, X-Ray, and Gamma-Ray Instrumentation for Astronomy V 1994 - San Diego, United States
Duration: Jul 24 1994Jul 29 1994

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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