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A superconducting focal plane array for ultraviolet, optical, and near-infrared astrophysics

Mazin, Benjamin A. and Bumble, Bruce and Meeker, Seth R. and O'Brien, Kieran and McHugh, Sean and Langman, Eric (2012) A superconducting focal plane array for ultraviolet, optical, and near-infrared astrophysics. Optics Express, 20 (2). pp. 1503-1511. ISSN 1094-4087. doi:10.1364/OE.20.001503.

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Microwave Kinetic Inductance Detectors, or MKIDs, have proven to be a powerful cryogenic detector technology due to their sensitivity and the ease with which they can be multiplexed into large arrays. A MKID is an energy sensor based on a photon-variable superconducting inductance in a lithographed microresonator, and is capable of functioning as a photon detector across the electromagnetic spectrum as well as a particle detector. Here we describe the first successful effort to create a photon-counting, energy-resolving ultraviolet, optical, and near infrared MKID focal plane array. These new Optical Lumped Element (OLE) MKID arrays have significant advantages over semiconductor detectors like charge coupled devices (CCDs). They can count individual photons with essentially no false counts and determine the energy and arrival time of every photon with good quantum efficiency. Their physical pixel size and maximum count rate is well matched with large telescopes. These capabilities enable powerful new astrophysical instruments usable from the ground and space. MKIDs could eventually supplant semiconductor detectors for most astronomical instrumentation, and will be useful for other disciplines such as quantum optics and biological imaging.

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Additional Information:© 2012 Optical Society of America. Received 16 Sep 2011; revised 30 Nov 2011; accepted 16 Dec 2011; published 10 Jan 2012. This material is based upon work supported by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration under Grant NNX09AD54G, issued through the Science Mission Directorate, Jet Propulsion Lab’s Research & Technology Development Program, and a grant from the W.M. Keck Institute for Space Studies. Part of the research was carried out at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, under a contract with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. The authors would like to thank Rick LeDuc, Jonas Zmuidzinas, Sunil Golwala, David Moore, Peter Day, and Omid Noroozian for useful insights.
Group:Keck Institute for Space Studies
Funding AgencyGrant Number
JPL Research and Technology Development FundUNSPECIFIED
Keck Institute for Space Studies (KISS)UNSPECIFIED
Issue or Number:2
Classification Code:OCIS codes: (040.1240) Detector arrays; (350.1270) Astronomy and astrophysics.
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20160310-164705833
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Official Citation:Benjamin A. Mazin, Bruce Bumble, Seth R. Meeker, Kieran O’Brien, Sean McHugh, and Eric Langman, "A superconducting focal plane array for ultraviolet, optical, and near-infrared astrophysics," Opt. Express 20, 1503-1511 (2012)
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:65285
Deposited By: Colette Connor
Deposited On:11 Mar 2016 22:47
Last Modified:10 Nov 2021 23:42

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