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Kelsey Morgan: Hot science with cool sensors
March 30 @ 9:00 am - 10:00 am
The transition-edge sensor (TES) microcalorimeter uses the sharply temperature-dependent resistance of the superconducting transition to measure the energy of X-ray and gamma ray photons. A single TES is a broadband, energy-dispersive area detector capable of eV-scale energy resolution with good quantum efficiency. With an array of hundreds or thousands of sensors, a TES-based spectrometer can have orders of magnitude higher throughput than wavelength dispersive instruments. In this talk, I will introduce the basic principles of TES operation, and discuss how they are exploited to design sensors with resolving power R > 1000 at a wide range of photon energies, from soft X-rays to gamma rays. This capability makes the TES a powerful tool for PFY-XAFS, RIXS, and time-resolved XES/XAS measurements, particularly for weak sources or for highly dilute or radiation-sensitive samples. I will provide a brief overview of the TES spectrometers that are currently available to the X-ray science community, and then highlight some exciting new instruments that are currently under development.