Tuning SPT-3G Transition-Edge-Sensor Electrical Properties with a Four-Layer Ti–Au–Ti–Au Thin-Film Stack

Abstract

We have developed superconducting Ti transition-edge sensors with Au protection layers on the top and bottom for the South Pole Telescope’s third-generation receiver (a cosmic microwave background polarimeter, due to be upgraded this austral summer of 2017/2018). The base Au layer (deposited on a thin Ti glue layer) isolates the Ti from any substrate effects; the top Au layer protects the Ti from oxidation during processing and subsequent use of the sensors. We control the transition temperature and normal resistance of the sensors by varying the sensor width and the relative thicknesses of the Ti and Au layers. The transition temperature is roughly six times more sensitive to the thickness of the base Au layer than to that of the top Au layer. The normal resistance is inversely proportional to sensor width for any given film configuration. For widths greater than five micrometers, the critical temperature is independent of width.

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Acknowledgements

The South Pole Telescope is supported by the National Science Foundation (NSF) through grant PLR-1248097. Partial support is also provided by the NSF Physics Frontier Center grant PHY-1125897 to the Kavli Institute of Cosmological Physics at the University of Chicago, and the Kavli Foundation and the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation grant GBMF 947. Work at Argonne National Laboratory, including Laboratory Directed Research and Development support and use of the Center for Nanoscale Materials, a U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Science (DOE-OS) user facility, was supported under Contract No. DE-AC02-06CH11357. Work at Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory, a DOE-OS, HEP User Facility managed by the Fermi Research Alliance, LLC, was supported under Contract No. DE-AC02-07CH11359. NWH acknowledges support from NSF CAREER grant AST-0956135. The McGill authors acknowledge funding from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada, Canadian Institute for Advanced Research, and Canada Research Chairs program.

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Correspondence to F. W. Carter.

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Carter, F.W., Ade, P.A.R., Ahmed, Z. et al. Tuning SPT-3G Transition-Edge-Sensor Electrical Properties with a Four-Layer Ti–Au–Ti–Au Thin-Film Stack. J Low Temp Phys 193, 695–702 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10909-018-1910-7

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Keywords

  • SPT-3G
  • Transition-edge sensor
  • Proximity effect