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Superconducting Tunnel Junction Detectors for Optical and UV Astronomy

Superconducting Tunnel Junction Detectors for Optical and UV Astronomy

Publication date: 15 December 1999

Authors: Jakobsen, P.

Page: 397

Copyright: Astronomical Society of the Pacific

In "Ultraviolet-Optical Space Astronomy Beyond HST" ASP Conference Series 164, ed. Jon A. Morse, J. Michael Shull, & Anne L. Kinney. Astronomical detectors based on Superconducting Tunnel Junction (STJ) technology are the next logical step beyond CCD and MCP detectors for optical and ultraviolet astronomy. Rather than merely registering each photon event with high efficiency, these devices also measure the wavelength of the detected photons throughout the far-UV through near-IR. Large format STJ arrays promise to provide the ultimate '3D' astronomical detector capable of covering simultaneously more than a decade in wavelength. The STJ detector holds particular promise in space-based ultraviolet applications where its inherent spectral resolution is the highest and its naturally high quantum efficiency overcomes the sensitivity limit set by available UV photocathode materials. The capability to separate spectral orders on the detector also opens up exciting new possibilities for novel and highly efficient grating spectrometer designs.

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