Feasibility of a detector for nuclear radiation based on superconducting grains

Seidel, W.; Oberauer, L.; Feilitzsch, F. v.
August 1987
Review of Scientific Instruments;Aug1987, Vol. 58 Issue 8, p1471
Academic Journal
We studied the sensitivity of a radiation detector based on metastable superconducting grains. Radiation is detected by the phase transition from the superconducting to the normal-conducting state of a grain induced by energy absorption. Metastable states of tin and cadmium grains were tested. The phase boundary of a large sample of grains was found to be broadened due to variations of the phase diagrams of single grains. Therefore, the use of superconductors with a low critical temperature Tc and an operation temperature close to Tc seems advisable to increase the sensitivity of the detector. For Cd grains a sensitivity normalized to the grain volume of 12 eV/μm3 was achieved for the detection of γ rays. These grains showed an instability in the superconducting to normal-conducting phase transition for temperatures below 350 mK.


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