A high-TC superconductor bolometer on a silicon nitride membrane

Stefan Sánchez, Miko Elwenspoek, Chengqun Gui, Martin J.M.E. de Nivelle, Robert de Vries, Piet A.J. de Korte, Marcel P. Bruijn, Jan J. Wijnbergen, Wolfgang Michalke, Erwin Steinbeiss, Torsten Heidenblut, Bernard Schwierzi

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    In this paper, we describe the design, fabrication, and performance of a high-Tc GdBa2Cu3O7-δ superconductor bolometer positioned on a 2-×2-mm2 1-µm-thick silicon nitride membrane. The bolometer structure has an effective area of 0.64 mm2 and was grown on a specially developed silicon-on-nitride (SON) layer. This layer was made by direct bonding of silicon nitride to silicon after chemical mechanical polishing. The operation temperature of the bolometer is 85 K. A thermal conductance G = 3.3·10-5 W/K with a time constant of 27 ms has been achieved. The electrical noise equivalent power (NEP) at 5 Hz is 3.7·10-12 WHz-1/2, which is very close to the theoretical phonon noise limit of 3.6·10-12 WHz-1/2, meaning that the excess noise of the superconducting film is very low. This bolometer is comparable to other bolometers with respect to high electrical performance. Our investigations are now aimed at decreasing the NEP for 84-µm radiation by further reduction of G and adding an absorption layer to the detector. This bolometer is intended to be used as a detector in a Fabry-Perot (FP)-based satellite instrument designed for remote sensing of atmospheric hydroxyl.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)62-68
    Number of pages7
    JournalJournal of microelectromechanical systems
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - Mar 1998


    • Bolometers
    • Silicon
    • Superconducting device noise
    • Fabrication
    • Superconducting epitaxial layers
    • Biomembranes
    • Bonding
    • Chemicals
    • Temperature
    • Thermal conductivity


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