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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Frequency domain multiplexing for large-scale bolometer arrays


The development of planar fabrication techniques for superconducting transition-edge sensors has brought large-scale arrays of 1000 pixels or more to the realm of practicality. This raises the problem of reading out a large number of sensors with a tractable number of connections. A possible solution is frequency-domain multiplexing. I summarize basic principles, present various circuit topologies, and discuss design trade-offs, noise performance, cross-talk and dynamic range. The design of a practical device and its readout system is described with a discussion of fabrication issues, practical limits and future prospects.

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