Superconducting detectors in astronomy
Radiation detectors based on superconducting phenomena are becoming increasingly important for observational astronomy. Recent developments in this important field, together with relevant background, are described here. After a general introduction to superconductivity and the field of superconductor-based radiation sensors, the main detector types are examined with regard to their physical form, operating principles and principal advantages. All major forms of superconducting detectors used in contemporary research such as tunnelling detectors, mixers, hot-electron bolometers and transition edge sensitive devices are discussed with an emphasis on how more recent developments are overcoming the shortcomings of the previous device generations. Also, discussed are new ideas in superconducting detector technology that may find applications in the coming years.
Document Type: Research Article
Affiliations: Department of Electronics and Electrical Engineering, University of Glasgow, Rankine Building, Oakfield Avenue, Glasgow, G12 8LT, UK
Publication date: 2006-07-01