Development of microwave kinetic inductance detectors for a detection of phonons

H. Ishino, A. Kibayashi, K. Hattori, M. Hazumi, Y. Kibe, S. Mima, N. Sato, M. Yoshida, H. Watanabe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


We present a status of the development of microwave kinetic inductance detectors (MKIDs) for a detection of athermal phonons in a substrate. The energy deposited in the substrate is converted to athermal phonons. Athermal phonons arriving at the surface can break Cooper pairs in the MKIDs which are formed as a thin superconducting metal layer in the substrate surface. By counting the number of Cooper pairs broken and measuring the phonon arrival times, we can measure the amount of deposited energy and its position. MKIDs are suitable for the frequency-domain multiplexing readout, which enables us to readout hundreds of pixels simultaneously and, hence, to detect athermal phonons with a large detection efficiency. We fabricated MKIDs with a combination of aluminum and niobium on a silicon substrate, and then irradiated it with α particles from an 241 Am source. We detected phonons and made a rough estimation of the phonon propagation velocity of 1.1-1.3 km/s. We found that a thin insulator layer can block the phonon propagation from the substrate to the thin metal layer.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)161-167
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Low Temperature Physics
Issue number3-4
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2014


  • MKIDs
  • Phonon detection
  • Phonon velocity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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