Cryogenic radiation and particle detectors with superconductors

Our research focuses on the development of superconducting radiation and particle detectors, operating at very low temperatures, for astrophysics, particle physics and quantum technologies. Each application requires development of suitable materials and designs, including absorbers, and the study of the relevant physical phenomena that determine their performances.  

Cryogenic detectors based on superconductors display unprecedented performances. Combining nearly zero dark counts, very low thresholds, excellent sensitivity and high quantum efficiency, they are essential for new instruments in astrophysics and cosmology, and are considered next frontier, strategic instrumentation, with applications in quantum technologies, security, biomedicine, environment and several industries.

Our research concentrates on the so-called Transition-Edge Sensors (TES); making use of a very sharp superconducting transition, they constitute extremely sensitive microcalorimeters and bolometers operating at temperatures far below 1K. We accumulate years of expertise in the development of Mo/Au based TES for X-ray astrophysics. Recently we have extended our interests towards the development of prototypes for (1) detection of lower energy photons, in the NIR-VIS-UV, for applications in photonics and astronomy; and (2) phonon detection for direct search of low-mass dark matter.


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