Development of Microwave Kinetic Inductance Detectors for a THz On-Chip Spectrometer

E. Brooks, P. Barry, R. Nie, E. Shirokoff, J. Filippini, J. Connors, M. Gradziel, D. Mercado, L. Spencer, S. Tramm, N. Trappe, M. Zemcov

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Far-infrared (FIR) wavelength light provides a wealth of information about astrophysical processes. Large field-of-view FIR spectrometers face a variety of challenges that can be bypassed by utilizing on-chip filter bank technology. To this end, we have been developing microwave kinetic inductance detectors (MKIDs) to couple to on-chip spectrometric technologies. We utilize a unique two-silicon wafer design to create a waveguide for an on-chip spectrometer between 1.4 and 2 THz. The spectrometer’s principle of operation is electromagnetic radiation traveling down a center waveguide before being picked off by a resonance cavity and absorbed by a detector. The MKIDs are designed to couple directly to the waveguide using an annular antenna shape for the inductor. Alignment of the two-wafer design is achieved with two dowel pins and a hole and slot pattern in our custom designed box. We present the design and early test data from a 18-channel prototype device. The prototype yielded the full 18 resonances with quality factors Qc of about 5×104 and Qi of about 1×104. We plan to use the technology we developed to create an n×n pixel device targeting R=100.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)230-237
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Low Temperature Physics
Issue number3-4
StatePublished - Feb 2024


  • MKID
  • Spectrometer
  • Terahertz

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • General Materials Science
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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