The Primordial Inflation Explorer (PIXIE) is an Explorer-class mission concept designed to measure the polar- ization and absolute intensity of the cosmic microwave background. In the following, we report on the design, fabrication, and performance of the multimode polarization-sensitive bolometers for PIXIE, which are based on silicon thermistors. In particular we focus on several recent advances in the detector design, including the implementation of a scheme to greatly raise the frequencies of the internal vibrational modes of the large-area, low-mass optical absorber structure consisting of a grid of micromachined, ion-implanted silicon wires. With
∼ 30 times the absorbing area of the spider-web bolometers used by Planck, the tensioning scheme enables the
PIXIE bolometers to be robust in the vibrational and acoustic environment at launch of the space mission. More
generally, it could be used to reduce microphonic sensitivity in other types of low temperature detectors. We also report on the performance of the PIXIE bolometers in a dark cryogenic environment.