Volume 548, December 2012
|Number of page(s)||6|
|Published online||13 November 2012|
High-impedance NbSi TES sensors for studying the cosmic microwave background radiation
Bât. 108 Orsay Campus,
2 Institut Néel (CNRS/UJF), 25 rue des Martyrs, 38042 Grenoble, France
Received: 17 January 2012
Accepted: 3 September 2012
Precise measurements of the cosmic microwave background (CMB) are crucial in cosmology because any proposed model of the universe must account for the features of this radiation. The CMB has a thermal blackbody spectrum at a temperature of 2.725 K, i.e. the spectrum peaks in the microwave range frequency of 160.2 GHz, corresponding to a 1.9-mm wavelength. Of all CMB measurements that the scientific community has not yet been able to perform, the CMB B-mode polarization is probably the most challenging from the instrumental point of view. The signature of primordial gravitational waves, which give rise to a B-type polarization, is one of the goals in cosmology today and amongst the first objectives in the field. For this purpose, high-performance low-temperature bolometric cameras, made of thousands of pixels, are currently being developed by many groups, which will improve the sensitivity to B-mode CMB polarization by one or two orders of magnitude compared to the Planck satellite HFI detectors. We present here a new bolometer structure that is able to increase the pixel sensitivities and to simplify the fabrication procedure. This innovative device replaces delicate membrane-based structures and eliminates the mediation of phonons: the incoming energy is directly captured and measured in the electron bath of an appropriate sensor and the thermal decoupling is achieved via the intrinsic electron-phonon decoupling of the sensor at very low temperature. Reported results come from a 204-pixel array of NbxSi1−x transition edge sensors with a meander structure fabricated on a 2-inch silicon wafer using electron-beam co-evaporation and a cleanroom lithography process. To validate the application of this device to CMB measurements, we have performed an optical calibration of our sample in the focal plane of a dilution cryostat test bench. We have demonstrated a light absorption close to 20% and an optical noise equivalent power of about 7×10-16 W/, which is highly encouraging given the scope for improvement in this type of detectors.
Key words: instrumentation: detectors / instrumentation: photometers / methods: laboratory / cosmic background radiation
© ESO, 2012
Current usage metrics show cumulative count of Article Views (full-text article views including HTML views, PDF and ePub downloads, according to the available data) and Abstracts Views on Vision4Press platform.
Data correspond to usage on the plateform after 2015. The current usage metrics is available 48-96 hours after online publication and is updated daily on week days.
Initial download of the metrics may take a while.