Distributed Read-out Imaging Device array for astronomical observations in UV/VIS
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RU Radboud Universiteit Nijmegen, 21 december 2009
Promotor : Groot, P.J. Co-promotores : Verhoeve, P., Martin, D.
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STJ (Superconducting Tunneling Junctions) are being developed as spectro-photometers in wavelengths ranging from the NIR to X-rays. 10x12 arrays of STJs have already been successfully used as optical imaging spectrometers with the S-Cam 3, on the William Hershel Telescope on La Palma and on the Optical Ground Station on Tenerife. To overcome the limited field of view which can be achieved with single STJ arrays, DROIDS (Distributed Read Out Imaging Devices) are being developed which produce next to energy and timing also produce positional information with each detector element. These DROIDS consist of a superconducting absorber strip with proximized STJs on either end. The STJs are a Ta/Al/AlOx/Al/Ta 100/30/1/30/100nm sandwich of which the bottom electrode Ta layer is one with the 100nm thick absorber layer. The ratio of the two signals from the STJs provides information on the absorption position and the sum signal is a measure for the energy of the absorbed photon. In this thesis we present different important processes which are involved with the detection of optical photons using DROIDs. This includes the spatial and spectral resolution, confinement of the quasiparticles in the proximized STJs to enhance tunnelling and quasiparticle creation resulting from absorption of a photon in the proximized STJ. We have combined our findings in the development of a 2D theoretical model which describes the diffusion of quasiparticles and imperfect confinement via exchange of quasiparticles between the absorber and STJ. Finally we will present some of the first results obtained with an array of 60 360x33.5µm2 DROIDs in 3x20 format.
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