Superconducting Transition Edge Sensor for Gamma-Ray Spectroscopy

Masashi OHNO  Tomoya IRIMATSUGAWA  Hiroyuki TAKAHASHI  Chiko OTANI  Takashi YASUMUNE  Koji TAKASAKI  Chikara ITO  Takashi OHNISHI  Shin-ichi KOYAMA  Shuichi HATAKEYAMA  R.M. Thushara. DAMAYANTHI  

IEICE TRANSACTIONS on Electronics   Vol.E100-C   No.3   pp.283-290
Publication Date: 2017/03/01
Online ISSN: 1745-1353
Type of Manuscript: INVITED PAPER (Special Section on Leading-Edge Technologies of Superconducting Measurement Systems)
transition edge sensor,  gamma-ray,  nuclide analysis,  

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Superconducting Transition edge sensor (TES) coupled with a heavy metal absorber is a promising microcalorimeter for Gamma-ray (γ-ray) spectroscopy with ultra-high energy resolution and high detection efficiency. It is very useful for the non-destructed inspection of the nuclide materials. High resolving power of γ-ray peaks can precisely identify multiple nuclides such as Plutonium (Pu) and Actinides with high efficiency and safety. For this purpose, we have developed the TES coupled with a tin absorber. We suggest the new device structure using the gold bump post which connects a tin absorber to the thermometer of the superconducting Ir/Au bilayer. High thermal conductivity of the gold bump post realized strong thermal coupling between the thermometer and the γ-ray absorber, and it brought the benefit of large pulse height and fast decay time. Our TES achieved the good energy resolution of 84 eV FWHM at 59.5 keV. Using this TES device, we also succeeded to demonstrate the nuclear material measurements. In the measurement of a Pu sample, we detected the sharp γ-ray peaks from 239Pu and 240Pu, and of a Fission Products (FP) sample, we observed fluorescence X-ray peaks emitted by the elements contained in FP. The TES could resolve the fine structures of each fluorescence X-ray line like Kα1 and Kα2. In addition to that, we developed the TES coupled with tantalum absorber, which is expected to have higher absorption efficiency for γ-rays. This device reported the best energy resolution of 465 eV at 662 keV.