Strain Effects of Absorbing Layer on Superconducting Properties of a High-Flux Neutron Detector

Mette Bybjerg Brock*, Chung-Chuan Lai, Asger Bech Abrahamsen, Linda Robinson, Kalliopi Kanaki, Richard Hall-Wilton, Anders Christian Wulff, Luise Theil Kuhn

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

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An increasingly unstable supply of 3He in the past decade along with growing demands for detectors from the large-scale neutron facilities have led to a higher focus on developing neutron detectors not relying on 3He. In this study a superconducting transition edge sensor (TES) based on a stack of thin films is combined with a neutron absorbing layer of 10B4C to build a sensitive and robust neutron detector. The difference in lattice structure causes tensile strain in the thin, stacked, structure, which results in changes in the superconducting parameters. The strain was measured along with its effect on the superconducting transition and thereby the sensitivity of the detector. A decrease in Tc of a few percent and in the range of 0.3 to 2.2 K was found from two different samples with varying boron coverage for a calculated strain of < 0.07%. A change in sensitivity due to strain was found to be from -58% to -15%, depending on deposition coverage and the deposition process. Effects on the superconducting properties were found to be within a range that can be compensated by design and setup considerations and these are therefore not expected to pose problems for the future detectors build on this principle.
Original languageEnglish
Article number1800404
JournalIEEE Transactions on Applied Superconductivity
Issue number4
Number of pages4
Publication statusPublished - 2022


  • Superconducting devices
  • Superconductiong transition temperature
  • Tensile strain
  • Boron carbide


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