Optical Demonstration of THz, Dual-Polarization Sensitive Microwave Kinetic Inductance Detectors

B. Dober, J. A. Austermann, J. A. Beall, D. Becker, G. Che, H. M. Cho, M. Devlin, S. M. Duff, N. Galitzki, J. Gao, Christopher Groppi, G. C. Hilton, J. Hubmayr, K. D. Irwin, C. M. McKenney, D. Li, N. Lourie, Philip Mauskopf, M. R. Vissers, Y. Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


Polarization sensitive, microwave kinetic inductance detectors (MKIDs) are under development for the next generation BLAST instrument (BLAST-TNG). BLAST-TNG is a balloon-borne submillimeter polarimeter designed to study magnetic fields in diffuse dust regions and molecular clouds. We present the design and performance of feedhorn-coupled, dual-polarization sensitive MKIDs fabricated from TiN/Ti multilayer films, which have been optimized for the 250 μ m band. Measurements show effective selection of linear polarization and good electrical isolation between the orthogonally crossed X and Y detectors within a single spatial pixel. The detector cross-polar coupling is < 3 %. Passband measurements are presented, which demonstrate that the desired band-edges (1.0–1.4 THz) have been achieved. We find a near linear response to the optical load from a blackbody source, which has been observed in previous devices fabricated from TiN. Blackbody-coupled noise measurements demonstrate that the sensitivity of the detectors is limited by photon noise when the optical load is greater than 1 pW.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)173-179
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Low Temperature Physics
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Jul 1 2016


  • Bolometer
  • MKID
  • Polarimetry
  • Sub-mm
  • THz

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • General Materials Science
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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