A superconducting device is disclosed with the device having multiple layers of thin film configured to achieve highly sensitive measurements based upon temperature. The device is implemented, in simplest form, as a stripline having a ground plane layer of superconductor, a configured layer of superconductor, and a dielectric layer between the ground plane layer and the configured layer. The device is operated at a temperature just below the transition temperature of the superconducting materials utilized so that the inductance of the device depends substantially upon temperatures encountered, with highest sensitivity resulting when at least one of the superconducting layers has a thickness that is small relative to the magnetic penetration depth of the superconducting material utilized.
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1. A temperature-sensitive superconducting device, comprising:
- a sensor having at least two operationally interacting spaced layers of thin film superconducting material, said spacEd layers being separated by a dielectric, and said sensor being operated at a sufficiently low tempErature such that saiD sensor has an inductance that is temperature dependent based upon a magnetic penetration depth of said superconducting material whereby, when operated at said low temperature, said sensor exhibits an inductance based upon temperature so that said device provides a temperature indicative output.
2. The device of claim 1 wherein said dielectric is a layer of dielectric material having said spaced layers of said superconducting material at opposite sides thereof.
3. The device of claim 2 wherein said device includes a third layer of superconducting material and a second layer of dielectric material positioned between said third layer of superconducting material and one of said spaced layers of superconducting material.
4. The device of claim 2 wherein said layer of dielectric material is also a thin film.
5. The device of claim 1 wherein one of said layers of superconducting material is configurable, and wherein the other of said layers of superconducting material is a ground plane.
6. The device of claim 5 wherein said configurable layer of superconducting material includes a plurality of arms forming an impedance bridge.
7. The device of claim 1 wherein said device includes utilization means connected with said sensor to receive said temperature indicative output therefrom.
8. The device of claim 7 wherein said utilization means is a meter.
9. The device of claim 7 wherein said utilization means is connected with both of said layers of superconducting material.
10. The device of claim 1 wherein said device includes amplifier means.
11. The device of claim 10 wherein said amplifier means is a superconducting quantum interference device.
12. The device of claim 11 wherein said device is a part of said superconducting quantum interference device.
13. The device of claim 1 wherein said device includes means for connecting said sensor with electronic circuit means such that said sensor provides a variable inductance for said electric circuit means.
14. The device of claim 13 wherein said electronic circuit means includes oscillation means providing an output the frequency of which is inductively controlled, and wherein said sensor provides inductance to said oscillation means the magnitude of which inductance varies with temperature whereby the output frequency of said oscillation means is temperature dependent.
15. The device of claim 1 wherein said device includes means for connecting said sensor with monitoring means capable of monitoring at least one of power and radiation whereby said device produces a temperature-sensitive indicative output that is indicative of at least one of power and radiation montiored by said monitoring means.
16. The device of claim 1 wherein said sensor senses temperature differences and provides an output indicative thereof.
17. In a superconductor-based system utilizing temperature variations, a stripline sensing unit comprising:
- an impedance bridge circuit having a plurality of arms formed from supercondcuting material;
- a ground plane formed form supeconducting material;
- a layer of dielectric material positioned between said impedance bridge circuit and said ground plane;
- conducting means for varying the temperature sensed by at least one of said arms of said impedance bridge circuit;
- power means for enabling electrical power to be supplied to said impedance bridge circuit;
- output means connected with said impedance bridge circuit to provide an electrical output from said sensing unit; and
- means for causing said sensing unit to be operated at a temperature wherein the inductance of said impedance circuit is temperature dependant based upon a magnetic penetration depth of said superconducting material whereby said sensing unit exhibits a temperature indicative output signal at said output means.
18. The device of claim 17 wherein said sensing unit also includes an additional layer formed from superconducting material, and an additional layer of dielectric material positioned between said additional layer formed from superconducting material and said impedance bridge.
19. A superconductor-based detection device, comprising:
- asorbing means capable of absorbing at least one of radiation and power from an emitting source and, responsive thereto, causing a temperature change of said absorbing means; and
- sensing means formed by a first section of superconducting material having first and second portions, a ground plane section of superconducting material, and a middle section of dielectric material positioned between said first and ground plane sections, said sensing means being operable at a temperature such that the inductance of the sensing means is temperature dependent, said first portion of said first section of said superconducting material being positioned with respect to said absorbing means so as to be responsive to temperature changes thereof, and said sensing means exhibiting an inductance that provides an output accurately indicative of said at least one of radiation and power from said emitting source.
20. The device of claim 19 wherein said first section, said ground plane section, and said middle section are thin layers of material.
21. The device of claim 20 wherein said magnetic penetration depth within at least one of said first and ground plane sections is greater than the thickness of said sections, such that, in the presence of said ground plane, current is distributed essentially uniformly across the cross section of said first section to thereby provide substantially maximum current carrying capability for said superconducting thin film without introduction of magnetic vortices.
22. The device of claim 19 wherein said first section is configured as an impedance bridge circuit having a plurality of arms forming said first and second portions, one arm of said first section being positioned so as to be responsive to said temperature changes of said absorbing means.
23. The device of claim 19 wherein said device is operated at a temperature just below the lowest transition temperature of said superconducting materials.
24. The device of claim 19 wherein said device includes substrate means having said absorbing means at one side of said sensing means at the other side.
25. The device of claim 24 wherein said substrate means has a moat section with an island thereat whereby said substrate is adapted for connection to a coaxial cable.