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We provide a convenient recipe for fabricating reliable superconducting microbolometers as acoustic phonon detectors with sub-nanosecond response, using imagereversal optical lithography and dc-magnetron sputtering, and our recipe requires no chemical or plasma etching. Our approach solves the traditional problem for granular aluminium bolometers of unreliable (i.e., non-Ohmic) electrical contacts by sequentially sputtering the granular aluminium film and then a palladium capping layer. We use dc calibration data, the method of Danilchenko et al. [1], and direct nanosecond-pulsed photoexcitation to obtain the microbolometer’s characteristic current, thermal conductance, characteristic relaxation time, and heat capacity. We also demonstrate the use of the deconvolution algorithm of Edwards et al. [2] to obtain the phonon flux in a heat pulse experiment with nanosecond resolution.


This article first appeared in the December 2007 issue of Journal of Physics: Conference Series and is reprinted with permission.

This paper was delivered at PHONONS 2007 – 12th International Conference on Phonon Scattering in Condensed Matter, Paris, France, July 2007.

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©2007 IOP Publishing. All rights reserved.