Ultra-low-noise transition edge sensors for the SAFARI L-band on SPICA

D. J. Goldie, J. R. Gao, D. M. Glowacka, D. K. Griffin, R. Hijmering, P. Khosropanah, B. D. Jackson, P. D. Mauskopf, D. Morozov, J. A. Murphy, M. Ridder, N. Trappe, C. O'Sullivan, S. Withington

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

12 Scopus citations


The Far-Infrared Fourier transform spectrometer instrument SAFARI-SPICA which will operate with cooled optics in a low-background space environment requires ultra-sensitive detector arrays with high optical coupling efficiencies over extremely wide bandwidths. In earlier papers we described the design, fabrication and performance of ultra-low-noise Transition Edge Sensors (TESs) operated close to 100mk having dark Noise Equivalent Powers (NEPs) of order 4 × 10-19W/√Hz close to the phonon noise limit and an improvement of two orders of magnitude over TESs for ground-based applications. Here we describe the design, fabrication and testing of 388-element arrays of MoAu TESs integrated with far-infrared absorbers and optical coupling structures in a geometry appropriate for the SAFARI L-band (110 - 210 μm). The measured performance shows intrinsic response time τ ∼ 11ms and saturation powers of order 10 fW, and a dark noise equivalent powers of order 7 × 10-19W/√Hz. The 100 × 100μm2 MoAu TESs have transition temperatures of order 110mK and are coupled to 320 × 320μm2 thin-film β-phase Ta absorbers to provide impedance matching to the incoming fields. We describe results of dark tests (i.e without optical power) to determine intrinsic pixel characteristics and their uniformity, and measurements of the optical performance of representative pixels operated with flat back-shorts coupled to pyramidal horn arrays. The measured and modeled optical efficiency is dominated by the 95Ω sheet resistance of the Ta absorbers, indicating a clear route to achieve the required performance in these ultra-sensitive detectors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationMillimeter, Submillimeter, and Far-Infrared Detectors and Instrumentation for Astronomy VI
StatePublished - Dec 1 2012
Externally publishedYes
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


  • Optical efficiency
  • TES arrays
  • Transition edge sensor
  • Ultra-low-noise

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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