MKID development for SuperSpec: An on-chip, mm-wave, filter-bank spectrometer

E. Shirokoff, P. S. Barry, C. M. Bradford, G. Chattopadhyay, P. Day, S. Doyle, S. Hailey-Dunsheath, M. I. Hollister, A. Kovács, C. McKenney, H. G. Leduc, N. Llombart, D. P. Marrone, Philip Mauskopf, R. O'Brient, S. Padin, T. Reck, L. J. Swenson, J. Zmuidzinas

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

40 Scopus citations


SuperSpec is an ultra-compact spectrometer-on-a-chip for millimeter and submillimeter wavelength astronomy. Its very small size, wide spectral bandwidth, and highly multiplexed readout will enable construction of powerful multibeam spectrometers for high-redshift observations. The spectrometer consists of a horn-coupled microstrip feedline, a bank of narrow-band superconducting resonator filters that provide spectral selectivity, and kinetic inductance detectors (KIDs) that detect the power admitted by each filter resonator. The design is realized using thin-film lithographic structures on a silicon wafer. The mm-wave microstrip feedline and spectral filters of the first prototype are designed to operate in the band from 195-310 GHz and are fabricated from niobium with at Tc of 9:2K: The KIDs are designed to operate at hundreds of MHz and are fabricated from titanium nitride with a Tc of ∼ 2 K. Radiation incident on the horn travels along the mm-wave microstrip, passes through the frequency-selective filter, and is finally absorbed by the corresponding KID where it causes a measurable shift in the resonant frequency. In this proceedings, we present the design of the KIDs employed in SuperSpec and the results of initial laboratory testing of a prototype device. We will also briefly describe the ongoing development of a demonstration instrument that will consist of two 500-channel, R=700 spectrometers, one operating in the 1-mm atmospheric window and the other covering the 650 and 850 micron bands.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationMillimeter, Submillimeter, and Far-Infrared Detectors and Instrumentation for Astronomy VI
ISBN (Print)9780819491534
StatePublished - Sep 27 2012
EventMillimeter, Submillimeter, and Far-Infrared Detectors and Instrumentation for Astronomy VI - Amsterdam, Netherlands
Duration: Jul 3 2012Jul 6 2012

Publication series

NameProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
ISSN (Print)0277-786X


OtherMillimeter, Submillimeter, and Far-Infrared Detectors and Instrumentation for Astronomy VI


  • Kinetic inductance detector
  • MKID
  • Mm-wavelength
  • Resonator
  • Spectroscopy
  • Titanium nitride

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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