NbN/MgO/NbN Josephson tunnel junctions have been prepared using various barrier preparation conditions. The energy of the sputtered MgO particles arriving at the substrate was found to be the most important parameter. Tunnel junctions (10*10 mu m2) with Vm values of up to 23 mV have been fabricated. The optimized NbN/MgO/NbN junction process is extended to a reliable whole-wafer process for DC SQUID fabrication.
We have designed and fabricated three types of high- SQUID (superconducting quantum interference device) magnetometers based on step-edge Josephson junctions using three different concepts of coupling magnetic flux into the SQUID: (i) a single pickup loop galvanically coupled to the SQUID, (ii) a flux transformer inductively coupled to the SQUID and (iii) a multiloop pickup loop used directly as the SQUID inductance. On a substrate we achieved an effective flux capture area of and for the inductively coupled and multiloop devices, respectively. Due to the low white noise levels of for the inductively coupled magnetometer and for the multiloop device high quality magnetocardiograms were recorded inside a magnetically shielded room without signal averaging.
A modular, 9-channel high-Tc SQUID system for magnetocardiography (MCG) was developed and tested in an unshielded environment. Galvanically-coupled magnetometers made from Y-Ba-Cu-O films, with intrinsic white noise levels as low as 70 fT/√Hz, are used as SQUID sensors. In an unshielded environment, a noise level of about 1 pT/√Hz for each channel was achieved using an active noise compensation system. A new digital planar gradiometer is proposed. First magnetocardiograms recorded in an unshielded environment are presented