Development of wide-band, time and energy resolving, optical photon detectors with application to imaging astronomy

A. J. Miller*, B. Cabrera, R. W. Romani, E. Figueroa-Feliciano, S. W. Nam, R. M. Clarke

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Superconducting transition edge sensors (TESs) are showing promise for the wide-band spectroscopy of individual photons from the mid-infrared (IR), through the optical, and into the near ultraviolet (UV). Our TES sensors are approximately 20 μm square, 40 nm thick tungsten (W) films with a transition temperature of about 80 mK. We typically attain an energy resolution of 0.15 eV FWHM over the optical range with relative timing resolution of 100 ns. Single photon events with sub-microsecond risetimes and few microsecond falltimes have been achieved allowing count rates in excess of 30 kHz per pixel. Additionally, tungsten is approximately 50% absorptive in the optical (dropping to 10% in the IR) giving these devices an intrinsically high quantum efficiency. These combined traits make our detectors attractive for fast spectrophotometers and photon-starved applications such as wide-band, time and energy resolved astronomical observations. We present recent results from our work toward the fabrication and testing of the first TES optical photon imaging arrays.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)445-448
Number of pages4
JournalNuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research, Section A: Accelerators, Spectrometers, Detectors and Associated Equipment
Issue number1
StatePublished - Apr 7 2000
Event8th International Workshop on Low Temperature Detectors (LTD-8) - Dalfsen, Neth
Duration: Aug 15 1999Aug 20 1999

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nuclear and High Energy Physics
  • Instrumentation


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