J. Phys. IV France
Volume 12, Numéro 3, May 2002
Page(s) 169 - 172

J. Phys. IV France
12 (2002) Pr3-169
DOI: 10.1051/jp420020061

Investigation of radiation hardness of SIS junctions for space borne radio astronomy

I. Péron1, 2, G. Faury1, Y. Delorme2, F. Dauplay2, B. Lecomte2, M. Salez2 and K.-F. Schuster1

1  IRAM, Domaine Universitaire, 300 rue de la Piscine, 38406 Saint-Martin-d'Hères, France
2  LERMA, Observatoire de Paris, 77 avenue Denfert Rochereau, 75014 Paris, France

Submillimeter astronomy with SIS (Superconductor-Insulator-Superconductor) mixers in space offer access to new wavelength windows and unsurpassed sensitivity. However little is known about the behavior of these devices in space. The Heterodyne Instrument (HIFI) aboard ESA's cornerstone Herschel Space Observatory (formely FIRST) satellite, scheduled for launch in 2007, will be among the first instrument using SIS technology in space. Within this context it is important to study possible radiation damage effects in SIS tunnel junctions. The particular devices used for HERSCHEL-HIFI-Band 1 (480-640 GHz) were fabricated with a new process based on negative resist E-beam lithography and very high current densities (15 kA/cm 2). In this paper, we report on radiation hardness tests with 10 MeV protons on the described high current density Nb/Al-AlOx/Nb junctions.

© EDP Sciences 2002