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IEEE Trans Appl Supercond. 2019 Aug;29(5). pii: 2100104. doi: 10.1109/TASC.2019.2899856. Epub 2019 Feb 18.

Energy calibration of high-resolution X-Ray TES microcalorimeters with 3 eV optical photons.

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Department of Physics, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 1150 University Avenue, Madison, WI 53706.
NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, 8800 Greenbelt Rd, Greenbelt, MD 20771.
National Institute for Standards and Technology, 325 Broadway, Boulder, CO 80305.


With the improving energy resolution of transitionedge sensor (TES) based microcalorimeters, performance verification and calibration of these detectors has become increasingly challenging, especially in the energy range below 1 keV where fluorescent atomic X-ray lines have linewidths that are wider than the detector energy resolution and require impractically high statistics to determine the gain and deconvolve the instrumental profile. Better behaved calibration sources such as grating monochromators are too cumbersome for space missions and are difficult to use in the lab. As an alternative, we are exploring the use of pulses of 3 eV optical photons delivered by an optical fiber to generate combs of known energies with known arrival times. Here, we discuss initial results of this technique obtained with 2 eV and 0.7 eV resolution X-ray microcalorimeters. With the 2 eV detector, we have achieved photon number resolution for pulses with mean photon number up to 133 (corresponding to 0.4 keV).


Calibration sources; Energy resolution; Microcalorimeters; Transition edge sensors; X-ray detectors

[Available on 2019-08-01]

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