Nonequilibrium superconducting detectors

R. Cristiano*, M. Ejrnaes, E. Esposito, M. P. Lisitskyi, C. Nappi, S. Pagano, D. Perez De Lara

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Nonequilibrium superconducting detectors exploit the early stages of the energy down cascade which occur after the absorption of radiation. They operate on a short temporal scale ranging from few microseconds down to tens of picoseconds. In such a way they provide fast counting capability, high time discrimination and also, for some devices, energy sensitivity. Nonequilibrium superconducting detectors are developed for their use both in basic science and in practical applications for detection of single photons or single ionized macromolecules. In this paper we consider two devices: distributed readout imaging detectors (DROIDs) based on superconducting tunnel junctions (STJs), which are typically used for high-speed energy spectroscopy applications, and hot-electron superconductive detectors (HESDs), which are typically used as fast counters and time discriminators. Implementation of the DROID geometry to use a single superconductor is discussed. Progress in the fabrication technology of NbN nanostructured HESDs is presented. The two detectors share the high sensitivity that makes them able to efficiently detect even single photons down to infrared energy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)S152-S159
JournalSuperconductor Science and Technology
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1 Mar 2006
Externally publishedYes


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