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18 September 2007 Uniform high spectral resolution demonstrated in arrays of TES x-ray microcalorimeters
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Individual x-ray calorimeters based on superconducting transition-edge sensors (TES) have already demonstrated the spectral resolution, speed, and quantum efficiency needed for astrophysical x-ray spectroscopy. We are now beginning to realize this capability on the array scale for the first time. We have developed a new design for the x-ray absorber that has connections to the TES engineered to allow contact only in regions that do not serve as the active thermometer. We have further constrained the design so that a low-resistance absorber will not electrically short the TES, permitting the use of high-conductivity electroplated gold for the x-ray absorber. With such a well-behaved material for the absorber, we now achieve energy resolution at 6 keV in the range 2.4 - 3.1 eV FWHM in all the pixels of the same design tested in a close-packed array. We have achieved somewhat higher resolution and faster response by eliminating some of the gold and electroplating bismuth in its place. These are important steps towards the high-resolution, high-fill-factor, microcalorimeter arrays needed for x-ray astrophysics observatories such as Constellation-X.
© (2007) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Caroline A. Kilbourne, Simon R. Bandler, Ari -D. Brown, James A. Chervenak, Enectali Figueroa-Feliciano, Fred M. Finkbeiner, Naoko Iyomoto, Richard L. Kelley, F. Scott Porter, and Stephen J. Smith "Uniform high spectral resolution demonstrated in arrays of TES x-ray microcalorimeters", Proc. SPIE 6686, UV, X-Ray, and Gamma-Ray Space Instrumentation for Astronomy XV, 668606 (18 September 2007);


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