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Proceedings Paper

Test of x-ray microcalorimeters with bilayer absorbers
Author(s): E. Perinati; M. Barbera; J. Beeman; A. Collura; L. Dumoulin; C. Pigot; L. Piro; E. Silver; S. Varisco
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Paper Abstract

Superconducting absorbers for thermal X-ray microcalorimeters should convert into thermalized phonons and transfer to the thermal sensor most of the energy deposited by single photons, on a time scale as short as a few tens of microseconds. Since deposition of X-ray energy in a superconductor produces quasiparticles by breaking up of Cooper pairs, the thermalization efficiency depends on the time scale on which they survive within the absorber volume, trapping part of the absorbed energy. According to the predicted values of their microscopic parameters, in many standard type-I superconducting metals the quasiparticle life time at very low temperatures results too long to allow for recombination on the relatively short time scale of the thermal sensors. In type-II superconductors the existence of a mixed state with Abrikosov vortices could speed up the recombination process and increase the efficiency of thermalization. We discuss this topic by presenting experimental results of laboratory tests conducted on tantalum and lead-bismuth absorbers in a comparison with an absorber made of gold, where no trapping is expected.

Paper Details

Date Published: 22 July 2008
PDF: 7 pages
Proc. SPIE 7021, High Energy, Optical, and Infrared Detectors for Astronomy III, 70211M (22 July 2008); doi: 10.1117/12.787941
Show Author Affiliations
E. Perinati, Istituto di Astrofisica Spaziale e Fisica Cosmica di Palermo (Italy)
M. Barbera, Univ. di Palermo (Italy)
J. Beeman, Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. (United States)
A. Collura, Osservatorio Astronomico G.S. Vaiana di Palermo, INAF (Italy)
L. Dumoulin, CSNSM, Univ. Paris XI (France)
C. Pigot, CEA-Saclay (France)
L. Piro, Istituto di Astrofisica Spaziale e Fisica Cosmica di Roma (Italy)
E. Silver, Harvard-Smithsonian Ctr. for Astrophysics (United States)
S. Varisco, Osservatorio Astronomico G.S. Vaiana di Palermo, INAF (Italy)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 7021:
High Energy, Optical, and Infrared Detectors for Astronomy III
David A. Dorn; Andrew D. Holland, Editor(s)

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