Frequency-division multiplexing is the baseline read-out system for large arrays of superconducting transition-edge sensors (TES’s) under development for the X-ray and infrared instruments like X-IFU (Athena) and SAFARI, respectively. In this multiplexing scheme, the sensors are ac-biased at different frequencies from 1 to 5 MHz and operate as amplitude modulators. Weak superconductivity is responsible for the complex TES resistive transition, experimentally explored in great detail so far, both with dc- and ac-biased read-out schemes. In this paper, we will review the current status of our understanding of the physics of the TES’s and their interaction with the ac bias circuit. In particular, we will compare the behaviour of the TES nonlinear impedance, across the superconducting transition, for several detector families, namely: high-normal-resistance TiAu TES bolometers, low-normal-resistance MoAu TES microcalorimeters and high-normal-resistance TiAu TES microcalorimeters.
- Frequency-domain multiplexing
- Josephson effect
- Transition-edge sensors