SuperSpec: Development towards a full-scale filter bank

J. Wheeler, S. Hailey-Dunsheath, E. Shirokoff, P. S. Barry, C. M. Bradford, S. Chapman, G. Che, J. Glenn, M. Hollister, A. Kovács, H. G. LeDuc, Philip Mauskopf, R. McGeehan, C. M. McKenney, R. O'Brient, S. Padin, T. Reck, C. Ross, C. Shiu, C. E. TuckerR. Williamson, J. Zmuidzinas

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

11 Scopus citations


SuperSpec is a new spectrometer-on-a-chip technology for submm/mm-wave spectroscopy. SuperSpec stands out from other direct-detection submm spectrometer technologies in that the detectors are coupled to a series of resonant filters along a single microwave feedline instead of using dispersive optics. SuperSpec makes use of kinetic inductance detectors (KIDs) to detect radiation in this filter bank. The small profile of this design makes SuperSpec a natural choice to produce a multi-object spectrometer for tomographic mapping or galaxy redshift surveys. We have recently fabricated a device that is a 50 channel subset of a full 280 channel filter bank, which would cover the 190 - 310 GHz range at R = 275. Analysis of the data from this device informs us of the potential design modifications to enable a high-yield background-limited SuperSpec spectrometer. The results indicate that this subset filter bank can scale up to a full filter bank with only a few collisions in readout space and less than 20% variation in responsivity for the detectors. Additionally, the characterization of this and other prototype devices suggests that the noise performance is limited by generation-recombination noise. Finally, we find that the detectors are sufficiently sensitive for ground-based spectroscopy at R = 100, appropriate for tomographic mapping experiments. Further modifications are required to reach the background limit for R = 400, ideal for spectroscopy of individual galaxies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationMillimeter, Submillimeter, and Far-Infrared Detectors and Instrumentation for Astronomy VIII
EditorsJonas Zmuidzinas, Wayne S. Holland
ISBN (Electronic)9781510602076
StatePublished - 2016
EventMillimeter, Submillimeter, and Far-Infrared Detectors and Instrumentation for Astronomy VIII - Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Duration: Jun 28 2016Jul 1 2016

Publication series

NameProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
ISSN (Print)0277-786X
ISSN (Electronic)1996-756X


OtherMillimeter, Submillimeter, and Far-Infrared Detectors and Instrumentation for Astronomy VIII
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom


  • Critical Temperature
  • Filter-Bank
  • Kinetic Inductance Detectors
  • Millimeter-wave
  • Noise Equivalent Power
  • Spectrometer
  • SuperSpec
  • TiN

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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