A method of controlling the coordinate sensitivity in a superconducting microbolometer employs localized light, heating or magnetic field effects to form normal or mixed state regions on a superconducting film and to control the spatial location. Electron beam lithography and wet chemical etching were applied as pattern transfer processes in epitaxial Y--Ba--Cu--O films. Two different sensor designs were tested: (i) a 3 millimeter long and 40 micrometer wide stripe and (ii) a 1.25 millimeters long, and 50 micron wide meandering-like structure. Scanning the laser beam along the stripe leads to physical displacement of the sensitive area, and, therefore, may be used as a basis for imaging over a broad spectral range. Forming the superconducting film as a meandering structure provides the equivalent of a two-dimensional detector array. Advantages of this approach are simplicity of detector fabrication, and simplicity of the read-out process requiring only two electrical terminals.
The United States Government has rights in this invention pursuant to Contract No. W-31-109-ENG-38 between the U.S. Department of Energy and The University of Chicago representing Argonne National Laboratory.