The suppression of phonon induced noise in niobium superconducting tunnel junction x-ray detectors
Publication date: 01 March 1996
Authors: Poelaert, A., et al.
Journal: Journal of Applied Physics
Copyright: American Institute of Physics
An investigation into the phonon contamination of x-ray sensitive superconducting tunnel junctions arising from the x-ray photoabsorption in various substrates has been conducted. Results are presented on the design of a superconducting tunnel junction (STJ) which substantially reduces or even eliminates phonon induced noise from the substrate. Such noise is the predominant feature in x-ray spectra from junctions due to the bulk of the photons being absorbed in the substrate rather than in the thin superconducting film. The design involves the choice of a suitable buffer sandwich between the substrate and the STJ. Such a buffer would appear not only to attenuate the phonons created in the x-ray photoabsorption in the substrate but also to scatter the phonons inelastically, introducing a frequency down-conversion. Such a process ensures that few phonons of energy sufficient to break Cooper pairs in the superconducting film of the STJ enter the junction.Link to publication