Development of the superconducting detectors and read-out for the X-IFU instrument on board of the X-ray observatory Athena

L. Gottardi, H. Akamatsu, M. P. Bruijn, R. Den Hartog, J. W. Den Herder, B. Jackson, M. Kiviranta, J. Van Der Kuur, H. Van Weers

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

    11 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    The Advanced Telescope for High-Energy Astrophysics (Athena) has been selected by ESA as its second large-class mission. The future European X-ray observatory will study the hot and energetic Universe with its launch foreseen in 2028. Microcalorimeters based on superconducting Transition-edge sensor (TES) are the chosen technology for the detectors array of the X-ray Integral Field Unit (X-IFU) on board of Athena. The X-IFU is a 2-D imaging integral-field spectrometer operating in the soft X-ray band (0.3-12 keV). The detector consists of an array of 3840 TESs coupled to X-ray absorbers and read out in the MHz bandwidth using Frequency Domain Multiplexing (FDM) based on Superconducting QUantum Interference Devices (SQUIDs). The proposed design calls for devices with a high filling-factor, high quantum efficiency, relatively high count-rate capability and an energy resolution of 2.5 eV at 5.9 keV. The paper will review the basic principle and the physics of the TES-based microcalorimeters and present the state-of-the art of the FDM read-out.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)622-625
    Number of pages4
    JournalNuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research. Section A: Accelerators, Spectrometers, Detectors and Associated Equipment
    Volume824
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 11 Jul 2016
    MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

    Keywords

    • Athena mission
    • Frequency domain multiplexing
    • Transition edge sensor
    • X-IFU

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