Freely Suspended Superconducting Tunnel Junctions for High Energy Resolution X-ray Detectors
Department of Energy
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Small Business Information
175 Clearbrook Road, Elmsford, NY, 10523
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged:
Dr. Darren K. Brock
Member of Technical Staff
Member of Technical Staff
Dr. Elie K. Track
Abstract133 Freely Suspended Superconducting Tunnel Junctions for High Energy Resolution X-ray Detectors--Hypres, Inc., 175 Clearbrook Road, Elmsford, NY 10523-1109; (914) 592-1190 Dr. Darren K. Brock, Principal Investigator Dr. Elie K. Track, Business Official DOE Grant No. DE-FG02-97ER82407 Amount: $74,945 Electronic devices to detect X-rays are currently in demand by many nuclear physics plasma diagnostic experiments at Department of Energy laboratories. X-ray detector devices based on superconducting tunnel junctions (STJ) present a solution to this need because they have an inherent X-ray sensitivity up to 1000 times that of conventional semiconductor detectors due to the material differences. This increased response to X-rays from superconductor material translates into both larger detector signals and enhanced energy resolution. This project is to develop ultra high quality STJ¿s for X-ray detector applications which offer the possibility of 10 times better energy resolution than present detectors, faster response times, and manufacturing flexibilities for a variety of specific applications. The objective of Phase I is to design and fabricate superconducting tunnel junction devices and characterize their X-ray response. Increased performance due to detector isolation would also be studied by employing a silicon micromachining technique to better decouple the device from interference from its surroundings. Phase I will address the issues related to the overall feasibility of producing a commercial STJ X-ray detector system. A successful Phase I program would pave the way for a Phase II goal of creating a single segment of a fully integrated high energy resolution STJ X-ray imaging array system. Commercial Applications and Other Benefits as described by the awardee: The project would lead to the first commercial source of reliable monolithic STJ X-ray detectors with an energy resolution of better than 10 electron volts for soft X-rays. These sensors are in demand for high energy resolution X-ray detection at synchrotron light sources, as well as X-ray astronomy and elemental compositional analysis of specimens through energy dispersive X-ray methods.
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