High-impedance NbSi TES sensors for studying the cosmic microwave background radiation - IN2P3 - Institut national de physique nucléaire et de physique des particules Access content directly
Journal Articles Astronomy and Astrophysics - A&A Year : 2012

High-impedance NbSi TES sensors for studying the cosmic microwave background radiation

C. Nones
  • Function : Author
S. Marnieros
  • Function : Author
L. Berge
  • Function : Author
P. Camus
  • Function : Author
L. Dumoulin
  • Function : Author
O. Rigaut
  • Function : Author


Precise measurements of the cosmic microwave background (CMB) are crucial in cosmology because any proposed model of the universe must account for the features of this radiation. The CMB has a thermal blackbody spectrum at a temperature of 2.725 K, i.e. the spectrum peaks in the microwave range frequency of 160.2 GHz, corresponding to a 1.9-mm wavelength. Of all CMB measurements that the scientific community has not yet been able to perform, the CMB B-mode polarization is probably the most challenging from the instrumental point of view. The signature of primordial gravitational waves, which give rise to a B-type polarization, is one of the goals in cosmology today and amongst the first objectives in the field. For this purpose, high-performance low-temperature bolometric cameras, made of thousands of pixels, are currently being developed by many groups, which will improve the sensitivity to B-mode CMB polarization by one or two orders of magnitude compared to the Planck satellite HFI detectors. We present here a new bolometer structure that is able to increase the pixel sensitivities and to simplify the fabrication procedure. This innovative device replaces delicate membrane-based structures and eliminates the mediation of phonons: the incoming energy is directly captured and measured in the electron bath of an appropriate sensor and the thermal decoupling is achieved via the intrinsic electron-phonon decoupling of the sensor at very low temperature. Reported results come from a 204-pixel array of NbxSi1-x transition edge sensors with a meander structure fabricated on a 2-inch silicon wafer using electron-beam co-evaporation and a cleanroom lithography process. To validate the application of this device to CMB measurements, we have performed an optical calibration of our sample in the focal plane of a dilution cryostat test bench. We have demonstrated a light absorption close to 20% and an optical noise equivalent power of about 7 x 10(-16) W/root Hz, which is highly encouraging given the scope for improvement in this type of detectors.

Dates and versions

in2p3-00773565 , version 1 (14-01-2013)



C. Nones, S. Marnieros, Alain Benoit, L. Berge, A. Bideaud, et al.. High-impedance NbSi TES sensors for studying the cosmic microwave background radiation. Astronomy and Astrophysics - A&A, 2012, 548, pp.A17. ⟨10.1051/0004-6361/201218834⟩. ⟨in2p3-00773565⟩
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