Personal tools
Log in

Quantum detectors for the CMB

One field seeing a very rapid evolution, in which Italian groups were included from the very start and are obtaining prominent results, is that which uses KIDs, Kinetic Inductance Detectors.

Kinetic Inductance Detectors are the latest generation of detectors based on the presence of a gap between the energy levels of a superconductor. This is analogous to what happens in semiconductor detectors, but the gap in the case of superconductors is about one thousand times smaller, allowing for the detection of much lower frequency photons (down to about 90 GHz).

The characteristic that makes these detectors ideal candidates for future balloon or satellite missions is the possibility to read even 104-105 pixels via a single coaxial cable and a wide band HEMT (High Electron Mobility Transistor) amplifier, enormously reducing the thermal load on the cryogenic stage of the experiment.

In addition, the manufacturing process is relatively simple and flexible, feasible in Italian facilities, and the freedom in the choice of materials allows KIDs to be used for wavelengths that go from the millimetre to the X-ray band.