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The high atomic number of niobium (Z=41) can be exploited to develop a high efficiency superconducting gamma-ray detector based on a novel detection principle, namely, the interaction of a single gamma-ray photon with Abrikosov vortices trapped inside a niobium bulk absorber. To study the feasibility of this principle, niobium type Josephson tunnel junctions with the aluminium oxide as a tunnel barrier and with a thick (0.3 mm) niobium base electrode have been fabricated. The devices have beendoi:10.1088/1742-6596/507/4/042021 fatcat:h6wt6v6j6bgdpokftm6c7fem5u