Millimeter-Wave Polarimeters Using Kinetic Inductance Detectors for TolTEC and Beyond

J. E. Austermann, J. A. Beall, S. A. Bryan, B. Dober, J. Gao, G. Hilton, J. Hubmayr, Philip Mauskopf, C. M. McKenney, S. M. Simon, J. N. Ullom, M. R. Vissers, G. W. Wilson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Scopus citations


Microwave kinetic inductance detectors (MKIDs) provide a compelling path forward to the large-format polarimeter, imaging, and spectrometer arrays needed for next-generation experiments in millimeter-wave cosmology and astronomy. We describe the development of feedhorn-coupled MKID detectors for the TolTEC millimeter-wave imaging polarimeter being constructed for the 50-m Large Millimeter Telescope (LMT). Observations with TolTEC are planned to begin in early 2019. TolTEC will comprise ∼ 7000 polarization-sensitive MKIDs and will represent the first MKID arrays fabricated and deployed on monolithic 150 mm diameter silicon wafers—a critical step toward future large-scale experiments with over 10 5 detectors. TolTEC will operate in observational bands at 1.1, 1.4, and 2.0 mm and will use dichroic filters to define a physically independent focal plane for each passband, thus allowing the polarimeters to use simple, direct-absorption inductive structures that are impedance matched to incident radiation. This work is part of a larger program at NIST-Boulder to develop MKID-based detector technologies for use over a wide range of photon energies spanning millimeter-waves to X-rays. We present the detailed pixel layout and describe the methods, tools, and flexible design parameters that allow this solution to be optimized for use anywhere in the millimeter and sub-millimeter bands. We also present measurements of prototype devices operating in the 1.1 mm band and compare the observed optical performance to that predicted from models and simulations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)120-127
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Low Temperature Physics
Issue number3-4
StatePublished - Nov 1 2018


  • KID
  • LMT
  • MKID
  • Millimeter
  • Polarimetry
  • Sub-mm
  • THz
  • TolTEC

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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