Composite infrared bolometers with Si3N4 micromesh absorbers

Philip Mauskopf, J. J. Bock, H. Del Castillo, W. L. Holzapfel, A. E. Lange

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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We report the design and performance of 300-mK composite bolometers that use micromesh absorbers and support structures patterned from thin films of low-stress silicon nitride. The small geometrical filling factor of the micromesh absorber provides 20× reduction in heat capacity and cosmic ray cross section relative to a solid absorber with no loss in IR-absorption efficiency. The support structure is mechanically robust and has a thermal conductance, G < 2 × 10-11 W/K, which is four times smaller than previously achieved at 300 mK. The temperature rise of the bolometer is measured with a neutron transmutation doped germanium thermistor attached to the absorbing mesh. The dispersion in electrical and thermal parameters of a sample of 12 bolometers optimized for the Sunyaev-Zel'dovich Infrared Experiment is ±7% in R(T), ±5% in optical efficiency, and ±4% in G.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)765-771
Number of pages7
JournalApplied Optics
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Feb 1 1997
Externally publishedYes



  • Infrared bolometers
  • Micromesh
  • Silicon nitride

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics

Cite this

Mauskopf, P., Bock, J. J., Del Castillo, H., Holzapfel, W. L., & Lange, A. E. (1997). Composite infrared bolometers with Si3N4 micromesh absorbers. Applied Optics, 36(4), 765-771.