Toward Large Field-of-View High-Resolution X-ray Imaging Spectrometers: Microwave Multiplexed Readout of 28 TES Microcalorimeters
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We performed small-scale demonstrations at GSFC of high-resolution X-ray TES microcalorimeters read out using a microwave SQUID multiplexer. This work is part of our effort to develop detector and readout technologies for future space-based X-ray instruments such as the microcalorimeter spectrometer envisaged for Lynx, a large mission concept under development for the Astro 2020 Decadal Survey. In this paper we describe our experiment, including details of a recently designed, microwave-optimized low-temperature setup that is thermally anchored to the 55 mK stage of our laboratory ADR. Using a ROACH2 FPGA at room temperature, we read out pixels of a GSFC-built detector array via a NIST-built multiplexer chip with Nb coplanar waveguide resonators coupled to rf-SQUIDs. The resonators are spaced 6 MHz apart (at \(\sim \) 5.9 GHz) and have quality factors of \(\sim \) 15,000. In our initial demonstration, we used flux-ramp modulation frequencies of 125 kHz to read out 5 pixels simultaneously and achieved spectral resolutions of 2.8–3.1 eV FWHM at 5.9 keV. Our subsequent work is ongoing: to-date we have achieved a median spectral resolution of 3.4 eV FWHM at 5.9 keV while reading out 28 pixels simultaneously with flux-ramp frequencies of 160 kHz. We present the measured system-level noise and maximum slew rates and briefly describe our future development work.
KeywordsMicrowave multiplexing Flux ramp Transition-edge sensor X-ray spectrometer Microcalorimeter
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