Abstract

We present an experimental study of a composite voltage-biased superconducting bolometer (VSB). The tested VSB consists of a Ti-film superconducting thermometer (T c ∼ 375 mK) on a Si substrate suspended by NbTi superconducting leads. A resistor attached to the substrate provides calibrated heat input into the bolometer. The current through the bolometer is measured with a superconducting quantum interference device ammeter. Strong negative electrothermal feedback fixes the bolometer temperature at T c and reduces the measured response time from 2.6 s to 13 ms. As predicted, the measured current responsivity of the bolometer is equal to the inverse of the bias voltage. A noise equivalent power of 5 × 10-17 W/√Hz was measured for a thermal conductance G ∼ 4.7 × 10-10 W/K, which is consistent with the expected thermal noise. Excess noise was observed for bias conditions for which the electrothermal feedback strength was close to maximum.

© 1998 Optical Society of America

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