Optical Demonstration of THz, Dual-Polarization Sensitive Microwave Kinetic Inductance Detectors

B. Dober, J. A. Austermann, J. A. Beall, D. Becker, G. Che, H. M. Cho, M. Devlin, S. M. Duff, N. Galitzki, J. Gao, Christopher Groppi, G. C. Hilton, J. Hubmayr, K. D. Irwin, C. M. McKenney, D. Li, N. Lourie, Philip Mauskopf, M. R. Vissers, Y. Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

11 Scopus citations


Polarization sensitive, microwave kinetic inductance detectors (MKIDs) are under development for the next generation BLAST instrument (BLAST-TNG). BLAST-TNG is a balloon-borne submillimeter polarimeter designed to study magnetic fields in diffuse dust regions and molecular clouds. We present the design and performance of feedhorn-coupled, dual-polarization sensitive MKIDs fabricated from TiN/Ti multilayer films, which have been optimized for the 250 (Formula presented.)m band. Measurements show effective selection of linear polarization and good electrical isolation between the orthogonally crossed X and Y detectors within a single spatial pixel. The detector cross-polar coupling is (Formula presented.)3 %. Passband measurements are presented, which demonstrate that the desired band-edges (1.0–1.4 THz) have been achieved. We find a near linear response to the optical load from a blackbody source, which has been observed in previous devices fabricated from TiN. Blackbody-coupled noise measurements demonstrate that the sensitivity of the detectors is limited by photon noise when the optical load is greater than 1 pW.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-7
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Low Temperature Physics
Publication statusAccepted/In press - Dec 29 2015



  • Bolometer
  • MKID
  • Polarimetry
  • Sub-mm
  • THz

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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

Cite this

Dober, B., Austermann, J. A., Beall, J. A., Becker, D., Che, G., Cho, H. M., ... Wang, Y. (Accepted/In press). Optical Demonstration of THz, Dual-Polarization Sensitive Microwave Kinetic Inductance Detectors. Journal of Low Temperature Physics, 1-7. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10909-015-1434-3