Abstract

We present the design and performance of a feedhorn-coupled bolometer array intended for a sensitive 350-µm photometer camera. Silicon nitride micromesh absorbers minimize the suspended mass and heat capacity of the bolometers. The temperature transducers, neutron-transmutation-doped Ge thermistors, are attached to the absorber with In bump bonds. Vapor-deposited electrical leads address the thermistors and determine the thermal conductance of the bolometers. The bolometer array demonstrates a dark noise-equivalent power of 2.9 × 10-17 W/√Hz and a mean heat capacity of 1.3 pJ/K at 390 mK. We measure the optical efficiency of the bolometer and feedhorn to be 0.45–0.65 by comparing the response to blackbody calibration sources. The bolometer array demonstrates theoretical noise performance arising from the photon and the phonon and Johnson noise, with photon noise dominant under the design background conditions. We measure the ratio of total noise to photon noise to be 1.21 under an absorbed optical power of 2.4 pW. Excess noise is negligible for audio frequencies as low as 30 mHz. We summarize the trade-offs between bare and feedhorn-coupled detectors and discuss the estimated performance limits of micromesh bolometers. The bolometer array demonstrates the sensitivity required for photon noise-limited performance from a spaceborne, passively cooled telescope.

© 2001 Optical Society of America

Full Article  |  PDF Article

References

You do not have subscription access to this journal. Citation lists with outbound citation links are available to subscribers only. You may subscribe either as an OSA member, or as an authorized user of your institution.

Contact your librarian or system administrator
or
Login to access OSA Member Subscription

Cited By

You do not have subscription access to this journal. Cited by links are available to subscribers only. You may subscribe either as an OSA member, or as an authorized user of your institution.

Contact your librarian or system administrator
or
Login to access OSA Member Subscription

Figures (11)

You do not have subscription access to this journal. Figure files are available to subscribers only. You may subscribe either as an OSA member, or as an authorized user of your institution.

Contact your librarian or system administrator
or
Login to access OSA Member Subscription

Tables (3)

You do not have subscription access to this journal. Article tables are available to subscribers only. You may subscribe either as an OSA member, or as an authorized user of your institution.

Contact your librarian or system administrator
or
Login to access OSA Member Subscription

Equations (11)

You do not have subscription access to this journal. Equations are available to subscribers only. You may subscribe either as an OSA member, or as an authorized user of your institution.

Contact your librarian or system administrator
or
Login to access OSA Member Subscription

Metrics

You do not have subscription access to this journal. Article level metrics are available to subscribers only. You may subscribe either as an OSA member, or as an authorized user of your institution.

Contact your librarian or system administrator
or
Login to access OSA Member Subscription