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The suppression of phonon induced noise in niobium superconducting tunnel junction x-ray detectors

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
Volume: 79
Issue: 5
Page: 2574-2579
Year: 1996

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.

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