Single Pixel Performance of the Kinetic Inductance Detectors for the Terahertz Intensity Mapper

R. M.J. Janssen, R. Nie, B. Bumble, L. J. Liu, J. Redford, J. P. Filippini, C. M. Bradford, S. Hailey-Dunsheath, J. E. Aguirre, J. S. Bracks, A. J. Corso, J. Fu, C. E. Groppi, J. Hoh, R. P. Keenan, I. N. Lowe, D. P. Marrone, P. D. Mauskopf, I. Trumper, J. D. Vieira

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The Terahertz Intensity Mapper (TIM) is a NASA far-infrared balloon mission designed to perform [CII] intensity mapping of the peak of cosmic star formation. To achieve this goal, TIM will fly two grating spectrometers that together cover the 240–420 μ m wavelength range at a spectral resolution, R∼ 250. Each spectrometer will require a large format (∼ 3600 detectors) array of dual-polarization sensitive detectors, which are photon noise limited at the 100 fW of loading expected during operation. We present the design of a fully-aluminum low-volume lumped-element kinetic inductance detector that incorporates a novel “chain-link” absorber design. Operating at 215 mK, we demonstrate this detector achieves a photon noise limited performance at 100 fW of optical loading with a white noise spectrum down to 1 Hz. Based upon noise measurements of a dark detector, which shows a quasi-particle lifetime of 300μs, these KIDs are expected to achieve a detector-limited noise equivalent power of ∼1.3×10-18W/Hz.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)197-206
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Low Temperature Physics
Issue number5-6
StatePublished - Jun 2023


  • Aluminum
  • Balloon
  • Far-infrared spectroscopy
  • Kinetic inductance detector

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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