Abstract Ligth-sensitive semiconducting films as barrier are a feasible tool to modify the tunneling behavior of superconducting junctions during the experiments. II–VI compounds have been demonstrated to be suitable to such a purpose, their fabrication procedure being compatible with all refractory Josephson junction technology. Experiments performed on light-sensitive Josephson tunnel junctions have shown the relevant role of the metal/semiconductor interfaces in determining their transport properties. Different kind of all refractory Nb/Nb junctions have been fabricated involving CdS thin film in a sandwich-type structure. Both symmetric and asymmetric multilayers (Nb–N–CdS–N–Nb, Nb–N–CdS–Nb) have been considered using different normal layers N (Al, In). The effect of the N-layer on the current–voltage ( I–V), (d I/d V)– V characteristics and on the light-sensitive behavior of the junctions is discussed.