Detection of single x-ray photons by an annular superconducting tunnel junction

Frunzio, L.; Li, L.; Prober, D. E.; Vernik, I. V.; Lisitskii, M. P.; Nappi, C.; Cristiano, R.
September 2001
Applied Physics Letters;9/24/2001, Vol. 79 Issue 13
Academic Journal
We present an experiment that detects photons by use of an annular Nb-based superconducting tunnel junction (STJ). In one magnetic field configuration, we stably trapped a single magnetic fluxon in the STJ barrier during a transition to the superconducting state. This is an innovative configuration which avoids the use of an externally applied field during detector operation. It offers potential benefits for STJs used in imaging arrays. In this configuration, and also in the conventional one with an externally applied parallel magnetic field, we observed current pulses produced by single 6 keV x-ray photons. The pulses were the same for the two configurations. © 2001 American Institute of Physics.


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