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Published February 5, 2002 | Published
Book Section - Chapter Open

Multiplexable Kinetic Inductance Detectors


We are starting to investigate a novel multiplexable readout method that can be applied to a large class of superconducting pair-breaking detectors. This readout method is completely different from those currently used with STJ and TES detectors, and in principle could deliver large pixel counts, high sensitivity, and Fano-limited spectral resolution. The readout is based on the fact that the kinetic surface inductance L_s of a superconductor is a function of the density of quasiparticles n, even at temperatures far below T_c. An efficient way to measure changes in the kinetic inductance is to monitor the transmission phase of a resonant circuit. By working at microwave frequencies and using thin films, the kinetic inductance can be a significant part of the total inductance L, and the volume of the inductor can be made quite small, on the order of 1 µm^3. As is done with other superconducting detectors, trapping could be used to concentrate the quasiparticles into the small volume of the inductor. However, the most intriguing aspect of the concept is that passive frequency multiplexing could be used to read out ~10^3 detectors with a single HEMT amplifier.

Additional Information

© 2002 American Institute of Physics. Issue Date: 5 February 2002. This work has been supported by NASA Grant NAG5-10358, the JPL Director's Discretionary Fund, and the Caltech President's Fund.

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