15 July 2010 Low-noise transition edge sensor (TES) for SAFARI instrument on SPICA
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Abstract
Transition edge sensor (TES) is the selected detector for the SAFARI FIR imaging spectrometer (focal plane arrays covering a wavelength range from 30 to 210 μm) on the Japanese SPICA telescope. Since the telescope is cooled to <7 K, the instrument sensitivity is limited by the detector noise. Therefore among all the requirements, a crucial one is the sensitivity, which should reach an NEP (Noise Equivalent Power) as low as 3E-19 W/Hz^0.5 for a base temperature of >50 mK. Also the time constant should be below 8 ms. We fabricated and characterized low thermal conductance transition edge sensors (TES) for SAFARI instrument on SPICA. The device is based on a superconducting Ti/Au bilayer deposited on suspended SiN membrane. The critical temperature of the device is 155 mK. The low thermal conductance is realized by using narrow SiN ring-like supporting structures. All measurements were performed having the device in a light-tight box, which to a great extent eliminates the loading of the background radiation. We measured the current-voltage (IV) characteristics of the device in different bath temperatures and determine the thermal conductance (G) to be equal to 1.66 pW/K. This value corresponds to a noise equivalent power (NEP) of 1E-18 W/√Hz. The current noise and complex impedance is also measured at different bias points at 25 mK bath temperature. The measured electrical (dark) NEP is 2E-18 W/√Hz, which is about a factor of 2 higher than what we expect from the thermal conductance that comes out of the IV curves. Despite using a light-tight box, the photon noise might still be the source of this excess noise. We also measured the complex impedance of the same device at several bias points. Fitting a simple first order thermal-electrical model to the measured data, we find an effective time constant of about 65 μs and a thermal capacity of 3-4 fJ/K in the middle of the transition
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P. Khosropanah, P. Khosropanah, B. Dirks, B. Dirks, M. Parra-Borderías, M. Parra-Borderías, M. Ridder, M. Ridder, R. Hijmering, R. Hijmering, J. van der Kuur, J. van der Kuur, L. Gottardi, L. Gottardi, M. Bruijn, M. Bruijn, M. Popescu, M. Popescu, J. R. Gao, J. R. Gao, H. Hoevers, H. Hoevers, } "Low-noise transition edge sensor (TES) for SAFARI instrument on SPICA", Proc. SPIE 7741, Millimeter, Submillimeter, and Far-Infrared Detectors and Instrumentation for Astronomy V, 77410L (15 July 2010); doi: 10.1117/12.857725; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.857725
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