23, July 2014

PROJECT TITLE: Bolometers for space applications in middle and long infrared — BOLOSPACE

Coordinator: National Institute for Research and Development in Microtechnologies –IMT 

  • Partners:
  • National Institute for Laser, Plasma and Radiation Physics INFLPR

Period: November 2012 – December 2014

Project director: Dr. Mihai Kusko 

Project team:

IMT researchers

  • Specialists in optical simulation (Dr. Mihai Kusko and Dr. Cristian Kusko)
  • Specialists in superconductors (Dr. Cristian Kusko and DR. Victor Leca)
  • Specialist in electro-mechanical thermal simulations with ANSYS  IDT 3 Victor Moagar-Poladian
  • Specialist in characterization materials at cryogenic temperatures  Dr. EmiL Pavelescu
  • Chemist involved in deposition of absorbing layers IDT 2 Cozmin Obreja

Optoelectronica team

  • Ing Mihai Serbanescu –  Design and fabrication of the read-out electronic circuits
  • Ing Brandus Comanescu and Phys Mirela Trupina –  Functional characterization of detector; characterization of optical properties of thin layers in IR


  • Dr Maria Dinescu and Dr. Nicu Scarisoreanu – Deposition of YBCO thin layers using Pulsed Laser Deposition technique

Description: This project aims the research on high sensitivity Transition Edge Sensor (TES) bolometers based on thin layers of Yttrium-Barium-Copper-Oxide YBCO operating around transition temperature when the material leaves its superconducting state to normal state. In this region the resistance variation with temperature is very steep so that one can expect to obtain high detector responsivity. The main purpose of the bolometer proposed here is the atmosphere monitoring for the pollutants species as CO,CO2,SO2,CH4,NH3, etc by recording the absorption spectrum in the wavelength range 3-15 microns since it is well known that many of these species have a strong absorption in this spectral region. National Institute for Research and Development in Microtechnologies – IMT (the Coordinator)  will fabricate the bolometer since its  staff has a rich experience in the domain of Microtechnology and a multitude of facilities and equipments needed for fabrication microsystems devices. National Institute for Laser, Plasma and Radiation Physics INFLPR  has the task of YBCO thin layer deposition with the Pulsed Laser Deposition PLD equipment and the expertise of thin layer deposition with this equipment. SC Optoelectronica 2001 SA has the mission to design and fabricate the read-out electronic circuits and finally to characterize the functional model of bolometer.  

Project objectives:

For successfully accomplishing this objective, we have delineated the following specific objectives:

  • Obtaining the high quality films of high temperature superconductors with various dopings and implicitly various critical temperatures above liquid nitrogen presenting good electrical properties and sharp transition from the superconducting to normal state.
  • Optimization of the YBCO TES bolometer in terms of geometrical parameters, thermal insulation of the sensitive layer, and mechanical properties.
  • Identifying the materials which can act as absorption layers deposited on the top of the YBCO sensitive layer which in the same time do not affect the superconducting properties.
  • Realization of the bolometer structures using micro and nano fabrication techniques.


  • Deposition and characterization of YBCO thin film
  • Technological experiments for YBCO layer configuration
  • Simulation of the electro-thermal response and design of the read-out circuits
  • Experimental and theoretical studies of absorbers layers
  • Characterization of YBCO thin film electrical properties

Contributions to the STAR programme objectives:

The infrared optics (sources, detectors, various components, spectroscopy) is strongly associated with astronomy, astrophysics, cosmology and other space-related activities as satellites surveillance and environment monitoring. There is an actual concern for the use of near, middle and long infrared radiation in astronomy as the analysis of the composition of the surface planets , composition of their atmosphere (if there is any), study of asteroids and comets. More important, this spectral region is used for the Earth observation and especially the monitoring the Earth atmosphere. The interest in continuous monitoring of atmosphere composition along with observation of other Earth subsystems is motivated by the rapid change in pollution level, Climate change rapid evolution, etc. This need for continuous and accurate Earth observation lead to the launch of GMES 12 ( Global monitoring for Environment and Security) initiative by the European Union. The primary research done on the YBCO bolometers operating around transition temperature during this project will increase the probability that the members of consortium to be involved in other research and development programmes for fabrication of high quality detectors which will be installed on the satellites for the future ESA missions.