Performance of resistive microcalorimeters and bolometers

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Despite the impressive results achieved by microcalorimeters and bolometers, their performance is still significantly worse than that predicted by Mather's ideal model (Appl. Opt. 21 (1982) 1125). The difference is due both to non-ideal effects and to excess noise of unknown origin. The non-ideal effects have been recently quantified and include hot-electron effect, absorber decoupling, thermometer non-ohmic behavior, and all related extra noise sources. The excess noise affects primarily Transition Edge Sensors (TES) and is currently under experimental and theoretical investigation. This paper reviews the origin of non-ideal effects in microcalorimeters and bolometers and their effect on energy resolution and noise equivalent power. It also reviews the results on the characterization and suppression of the excess noise in TES, and the recent theoretical investigations to explain its origin in relation to fundamental physics in superconductors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)320-324
Number of pages5
JournalNuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research, Section A: Accelerators, Spectrometers, Detectors and Associated Equipment
Issue number1-3
StatePublished - Mar 11 2004


  • Bolometers
  • Microcalorimeters
  • Transition edge sensors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nuclear and High Energy Physics
  • Instrumentation


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