February 3, 2015

Lourdes Fàbrega

Cryogenic radiation detectors, working at temperatures well below 1K, are considered the next generation of instrumentation for a wide variety of applications. Among them, superconducting Transition Edge Sensors (TESs) are nowadays at the frontline. TESs are ultrasensitive microcalorimeters or bolometers useful for a very wide radiation range, from gamma-rays to microwaves and particles. Although initially developed mainly for astronomic instruments, either on ground or in space, their performances, the maturity achieved and the progress on cryogenics have open many other niches for them, in applications such as industry, materials science and quantum information. In particular, TESs have already been installed in electron microscopes and in several synchrotron lines.

My research focuses in the development (design, fabrication and characterization) of X-ray detectors based on Mo/Au-based TES, for Space and other applications, such as dark matter search or materials science. I’m also interested in the physics of these devices: indeed, in spite of the extraordinary development of TES and their achieved performances, there is still room for them to further approach the theoretically predicted limits. Specific work to this end involves understanding the nature of the superconducting transition, and electrothermal modeling to determine and reduce the so-called unexplained noise.

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