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Hot-Electron Superconducting Bolometer for FIR Spectroscopy in Space
Date: Monday, October 4, 2010 Time: 4:00 PM Location: 125 Steele, Caltech Speaker: Boris Karasik
Kavli Nanoscience Institute / Microdevices Lab Seminar
Future cryogenically cooled space telescopes will provide exciting opportunities for far infrared spectroscopy. This drives the interest to direct detectors whose sensitivity would be adequate to the ultra low-radiation background. Superconducting bolometers are among the most promising approaches. However, in order to reach the fundamental limit in space set by the photon shot noise from the cosmic infrared background, their sensitivity must be increased by a factor of ~100 compared to the state-of-the-art. We develop a unique version of the FIR bolometer whose thermal isolation is due to the weak electron-phonon coupling in a small volume of the superconducting film. Recent optical tests have demonstrated an extremely low detector noise equivalent power NEP < 10-18 W/Hz1/2 and also indicated potential for the single-photon calorimetry in the mid-IR and, possibly, in the FIR range.
Light refreshments will be served after the seminar.