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Institute Methods and Instrumentation for Synchrotron Radiation Research

Impurity level X-ray Absorption and Emission on Molecules and Materials with AXSYS

The aspect of impurity level detection of active centers in molecules and functional materials has remained a huge challenge for synchrotron based soft X-ray spectroscopy. The shift away from optical grating based spectral detection to ultracold milli-Kelvin superconducting bolometric calorimetry is a game changer with orders of magnitude increased detection efficiency. Together with Prof. Serena de Beer from the Max-Planck-Society and joint technology development with NIST in Boulder, Colorado the next generation of Transition Edge Sensor (TES) technology is fielded now to see with soft X-rays the impurity states in molecules and materials so far inaccessible.

Cover Physical Chemistry

TES - enlarged view

The TES detector consists of an array of 250 superconducting sensors integrated in the microsnout device, where each sensor is connected to a superconducting quantum interference device (SQUID) to measure the change of resistance of the sensor when a photon is absorbed. The detector is connected to a dilution refrigerator to reach the 54 milliKelvin operation temperature.