Abstract

A bolometer, using gallium-doped single crystal germanium as the temperature-sensitive resistive element, has been constructed and operated at 2°K with a noise equivalent power of 5×10−13 w and a time constant of 400 μsec. Sensitivities approaching the limits set by thermodynamics have been achieved, and it is shown that the background radiation limited or BLIP condition can be satisfied at 4.2°K. An approximate theory is developed which describes the performance of the device and aids in the design of bolometers with specific properties. The calculated noise equivalent power at 0.5°K, for a time constant of 10−3 sec, is 10−15 w. The detector is suitable for use in both infrared and microwave applications.

© 1961 Optical Society of America

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