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Published December 16, 2009 | Published
Book Section - Chapter Open

Quasiparticle Trapping in Microwave Kinetic Inductance Strip Detectors


Microwave Kinetic Inductance Detectors (MKIDs) are thin-film, superconducting resonators, which are attractive for making large detector arrays due to their natural frequency domain multiplexing at GHz frequencies. For X-ray to IR wavelengths, MKIDs can provide high-resolution energy and timing information for each incoming photon. By fabricating strip detectors consisting of a rectangular absorber coupled to MKIDs at each end, high quantum efficiency and spatial resolution can be obtained. A similar geometry is being pursued for phonon sensing in a WIMP dark matter detector. Various materials have been tested including tantalum, tin, and aluminum for the absorbing strip, and aluminum, titanium, and aluminum manganese for the MKID. Initial Ta/Al X-ray devices have shown energy resolutions as good as 62 eV at 6 keV. A Ta/Al UV strip detector with an energy resolution of 0.8 eV at 4.9 eV has been demonstrated, but we find the coupling of the MKIDs to the absorbers is unreliable for these thinner devices. We report on progress probing the thicknesses at which the absorber/MKID coupling begins to degrade by using a resonator to inject quasiparticles directly into the absorber. In order to eliminate the absorber/MKID interface, a modified design for implanted AlMn/Al UV strip detectors was developed, and results showing good transmission of quasiparticles from the absorber to MKID in these devices are presented.

Additional Information

© 2009 American Institute of Physics. Issue Date: 16 December 2009. This research was carried out at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, under a contract with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. We would like to thank the JPL Research and Technology Development program, and the Gordon and Betty Moore foundation, for their generous support.

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