First light demonstration of the integrated superconducting spectrometer

Abstract

Ultra-wideband, three-dimensional (3D) imaging spectrometry in the millimeter–submillimeter (mm–submm) band is an essential tool for uncovering the dust-enshrouded portion of the cosmic history of star formation and galaxy evolution1,2,3. However, it is challenging to scale up conventional coherent heterodyne receivers4 or free-space diffraction techniques5 to sufficient bandwidths (≥1 octave) and numbers of spatial pixels2,3 (>102). Here, we present the design and astronomical spectra of an intrinsically scalable, integrated superconducting spectrometer6, which covers 332–377 GHz with a spectral resolution of FF ~ 380. It combines the multiplexing advantage of microwave kinetic inductance detectors (MKIDs)7 with planar superconducting filters for dispersing the signal in a single, small superconducting integrated circuit. We demonstrate the two key applications for an instrument of this type: as an efficient redshift machine and as a fast multi-line spectral mapper of extended areas. The line detection sensitivity is in excellent agreement with the instrument design and laboratory performance, reaching the atmospheric foreground photon noise limit on-sky. The design can be scaled to bandwidths in excess of an octave, spectral resolution up to a few thousand and frequencies up to ~1.1 THz. The miniature chip footprint of a few cm2 allows for compact multi-pixel spectral imagers, which would enable spectroscopic direct imaging and large-volume spectroscopic surveys that are several orders of magnitude faster than what is currently possible1,2,3.

Access optionsAccess options

Rent or Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.

from$8.99

All prices are NET prices.

Fig. 1: ISS detection of redshifted CO(3–2) line emission from the LIRG VV 114.
Fig. 2: DESHIMA spectrometer system in the ASTE telescope cabin.
Fig. 3: DESHIMA spectral maps of the Orion nebula and the barred spiral galaxy NGC 253.
Fig. 4: Foreground photon-noise-limited sensitivity of the ISS and its fundamental limits.

Data availability

The datasets generated and analysed during this study are available from the corresponding author on reasonable request.

Code availability

The De:code software is distributed under the MIT license at https://github.com/deshima-dev/decode.

References

  1. 1.

    Geach, J. E. et al. The case for a ‘sub-millimeter SDSS’: a 3D map of galaxy evolution to z ~ 10. Preprint at https://arxiv.org/abs/1903.04779 (2019).

  2. 2.

    Farrah, D. et al. Review: far-infrared instrumentation and technology development for the next decade. J. Astron. Telesc. Instrum. Syst. 5, 020901 (2019).

  3. 3.

    Kawabe, R. et al. New 50-m-class single-dish telescope: Large Submillimeter Telescope (LST). Proc. SPIE 9906, 990626 (2016).

  4. 4.

    Erickson, N., Narayanan, G., Goeller, R. & Grosslein, R. in From Z-Machines to ALMA: (Sub)Millimeter Spectroscopy of Galaxies, Astronomical Society of the Pacific Conference Series 375, (eds Baker, A. J. et al.) 71–81 (Astronomical Society of the Pacific, 2007).

  5. 5.

    Stacey, G. J. THz low resolution spectroscopy for astronomy. IEEE Trans. Terahertz Sci. Technol. 1, 241–255 (2011).

  6. 6.

    Endo, A. et al. Wideband on-chip terahertz spectrometer based on a superconducting filterbank. J. Astron. Telesc. Instrum. Syst. 5, 035004 (2019).

  7. 7.

    Day, P. K., LeDuc, H. G., Mazin, B. A., Vayonakis, A. & Zmuidzinas, J. A broadband superconducting detector suitable for use in large arrays. Nature 425, 817–821 (2003).

  8. 8.

    Daz-Santos, T. et al. The multiple merger assembly of a hyperluminous obscured quasar at redshift 4.6. Science 362, 1034–1036 (2018).

  9. 9.

    Casey, C. M., Narayanan, D. & Cooray, A. Dusty star-forming galaxies at high redshift. Phys. Rep. 541, 45–161 (2014).

  10. 10.

    Groppi, C. et al. Test and integration results from SuperCam: a 64-pixel array receiver for the 350 GHz atmospheric window. Proc. SPIE 7741, 77410X (2010).

  11. 11.

    Endo, A. et al. Design of an integrated filterbank for DESHIMA: on-chip submillimeter imaging spectrograph based on superconducting resonators. J. Low Temp. Phys. 167, 341–346 (2012).

  12. 12.

    Shirokoff, E. et al. MKID development for SuperSpec: an on-chip, mm-wave, filter-bank spectrometer. Proc. SPIE 8452, 84520R (2012).

  13. 13.

    Cataldo, G. et al. Second-generation design of Micro-Spec: a medium-resolution, submillimeter-wavelength spectrometer-on-a-chip. J. Low Temp. Phys. 193, 923–930 (2018).

  14. 14.

    Sibthorpe, B. & Jellema, W. Relative performance of dispersive and non-dispersive far-infrared spectrometer instrument architectures. Proc. SPIE 9153, 91531W (2014).

  15. 15.

    Bueno, J. et al. Full characterisation of a background limited antenna coupled KID over an octave of bandwidth for THz radiation. Appl. Phys. Lett. 110, 233503 (2017).

  16. 16.

    O’Brient, R. et al. A dual-polarized broadband planar antenna and channelizing filter bank for millimeter wavelengths. Appl. Phys. Lett. 102, 063506 (2013).

  17. 17.

    Battersby, C. et al. The Origins Space Telescope. Nat. Astron. 2, 596–599 (2018).

  18. 18.

    de Visser, P. J., Baselmans, J. J. A., Bueno, J., Llombart, N. & Klapwijk, T. M. Fluctuations in the electron system of a superconductor exposed to a photon flux. Nat. Commun. 5, 3130 (2014).

  19. 19.

    Endo, A. et al. On-chip filter bank spectroscopy at 600–700 GHz using NbTiN superconducting resonators. Appl. Phys. Lett. 103, 032601 (2013).

  20. 20.

    Wheeler, J. et al. SuperSpec: development towards a full-scale filter bank. Proc. SPIE 9914, 99143K (2016).

  21. 21.

    Ezawa, H., Kawabe, R., Kohno, K. & Yamamoto, S. The Atacama Submillimeter Telescope Experiment (ASTE). Proc. SPIE 5489, 763–772 (2004).

  22. 22.

    Wilson, C. D. et al. Luminous infrared galaxies with the submillimeter array. I. Survey overview and the central gas to dust ratio. Astrophys. J. Suppl. Ser. 178, 189–224 (2008).

  23. 23.

    Coudé, S. et al. The JCMT Gould Belt Survey: the effect of molecular contamination in SCUBA-2 observations of Orion A. Mon. Not. R. Astron. Soc. 457, 2139–2150 (2016).

  24. 24.

    Dumke, M., Nieten, C., Thuma, G., Wielebinski, R. & Walsh, W. Warm gas in central regions of nearby galaxies. extended mapping of CO(3-2) emission. Astron. Astrophys. 373, 853–880 (2001).

  25. 25.

    Yurduseven, O. et al. Incoherent detection of orthogonal polarizations via an antenna coupled MKID: experimental validation at 1.55 THz. IEEE Trans. Terahertz Sci. Technol. 8, 736–745 (2018).

  26. 26.

    Ito, T. et al. The new heterodyne receiver system for the ASTE radio telescope: three-cartridge cryostat with two cartridge-type superconducting receivers. Proc. SPIE 10708, 107082V (2018).

  27. 27.

    Wisotzki, L. et al. Nearly all the sky is covered by Lyman-α emission around high-redshift galaxies. Nature 562, 229–232 (2018).

  28. 28.

    Parshley, S. C. et al. CCAT-prime: a novel telescope for sub-millimeter astronomy. Proc. SPIE 10700, 107005X (2018).

  29. 29.

    Nikolic, B., Bolton, R. C., Graves, S. F., Hills, R. E. & Richer, J. S. Phase correction for ALMA with 183 GHz water vapour radiometers. Astron. Astrophys. 552, A104 (2013).

  30. 30.

    Pardo, J. R., Cernicharo, J. & Serabyn, E. Atmospheric transmission at microwaves (ATM): an improved model for millimeter/submillimeter applications. IEEE Trans. Antennas Propag. 49, 1683–1694 (2001).

  31. 31.

    Butler, B. Flux density models for solar system bodies in CASA. ALMA Memo 594 (2012).

  32. 32.

    Wilson, T. L., Rohlfs, K. & Hüttemeister, S. Tools of Radio Astronomy (Springer, 2009).

  33. 33.

    DESHIMA Code for data analysis, De:code; https://github.com/deshima-dev/decode

  34. 34.

    Zemax LLC, Zemax; https://www.zemax.com

  35. 35.

    van Rantwijk, J., Grim, M., van Loon, D. & Yates, S. J. C. Multiplexed readout for 1000-pixel arrays of microwave kinetic inductance detectors. IEEE Trans. Microw. Theory Techn. 64, 1876–1883 (2016).

  36. 36.

    Patel, N. A. et al. An interferometric spectral-line survey of IRC + 10216 in the 345 GHz band. Astrophys. J. Suppl. Ser. 193, 17–72 (2011).

  37. 37.

    Williams, P. G. & White, G. J. Sub-millimetre molecular lines in the circumstellar envelope IRC + 10216. Astron. Astrophys. 266, 365–376 (1992).

  38. 38.

    Wang, Y., Jaffe, D. T., Graf, U. U. & Evans, N. J. II Single-sideband calibration for CO, 13CO, HCN, and CS lines near 345 GHz. Astrophys. J. Suppl. Ser. 95, 503–515 (1994).

  39. 39.

    Skrutskie, M. F. et al. The Two Micron All Sky Survey (2MASS). Astrophys. J. 131, 1163–1183 (2006).

  40. 40.

    Bayet, E., Gerin, M., Phillips, T. G. & Contursi, A. The submillimeter C and CO lines in Henize 2-10 and NGC 253. Astron. Astrophys. 427, 45–59 (2004).

  41. 41.

    Guruswamy, T., Goldie, D. J. & Withington, S. Quasiparticle generation efficiency in superconducting thin films. Supercond. Sci. Technol. 27, 055012 (2014).

  42. 42.

    Carilli, C. L. & Walter, F. Cool gas in high-redshift galaxies. Annu. Rev. Astron. Astrophys. 51, 105–161 (2013).

  43. 43.

    Mahieu, S. et al. The alma band-7 cartridge. IEEE Trans. Terahertz Sci. Technol. 2, 29–39 (2012).

Download references

Acknowledgements

We thank T. Kobiki, T. Ito, M. Yamada, M. Saito, J. Aguilera and J. Zenteno of NAOJ for their support at ASTE. We thank R. Jara, L. T. Galvéz and M. Konuma of NAOJ for their support in the transportation of the equipment to ASTE. We thank T. Minamidani for hosting a go/no-go review of the campaign, and all committee members who provided invaluable feedback. We thank K. Keizer of SRON for the precise mechanical work on the cryostat. We thank P. P. Kooijman and H. Hoevers of SRON for coordinating the delivery of the cryogenic hardware. We thank the staff of The University of Tokyo Atacama Observatory facility for their hospitality. We thank the staff of Kavli Nanolab Delft for their support in the microfabrication of the ISS chip. We thank the staff of Else Kooi Labratory for supporting the measurements in the cryolab at TU Delft. We thank D. Wernicke and J. Baumgartner of Entropy Cryogenics for their support in operating the cryostat at ASTE. Finally, we thank J. Pinto for his kindness to donate a piece of copper wire with a diameter in the range of 1.00–1.05 mm from his jewellery shop in San Pedro de Atacama so that we could align the cryogenic thermal mechanical structure on site. This research was supported by the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research NWO (Vidi grant no. 639.042.423, NWO Medium Investment grant no. 614.061.611 DESHIMA), the European Research Council ERC (ERC-CoG-2014 - Proposal no. 648135 MOSAIC), the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science JSPS (KAKENHI grant nos. JP25247019 and JP17H06130), NAOJ ALMA Scientific Research grant no. 2018-09B, and the Grant for Joint Research Program of the Institute of Low Temperature Science, Hokkaido University. P.J.d.V. is supported by the NWO (Veni Grant 639.041.750). T.M.K. is supported by the ERC Advanced grant no. 339306 (METIQUM) and the Russian Science Foundation (grant no. 17-72-30036). N.L. is supported by ERC (Starting Grant no. 639749). J.S. and M.N. are supported by the JSPS Program for Advancing Strategic International Networks to Accelerate the Circulation of Talented Researchers (Program no. R2804). T.J.L.C.B. was supported by the European Union Seventh Framework Programme (FP7/2007–2013, FP7/2007–2011) under grant agreement no. 607254. The ASTE telescope is operated by the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan (NAOJ).

Author information

A.E. initiated the DESHIMA project as an MKID-based redshift machine. J.J.A.B. invented the concept of the ISS. P.P.v.d.W., Y.T., K. Kohno and R.K. articulated further astronomical usage of ISS spectrometers. A.E. designed the ISS filterbank. O.Y. designed the double-slot antenna. A.P.L. explained the chip performance with precise electromagnetic simulations. D.J.T. and V.M. fabricated the chip. D.J.T. and T.M.K. provided the NbTiN thin film. J.B. measured the optical efficiency of the chip. P.J.d.V. provided insight on the quasiparticle physics. S.J.C.Y. designed the cold optics, measured the instrument beam pattern, and did a post analysis to explain the beam pattern and efficiency measured on ASTE. J.J.A.B. and S.J.C.Y. made the conceptual design of the cryogenic set-up, and R.H. made the mechanical designs. J.J.A.B. developed the readout electronics. K. Karatsu measured the sensitivity and frequency response of the instrument. M.N. and J.S. contributed to these measurements. J.S. developed a database for managing the acquired data. S.B., O.Y. and N.L. designed the warm optics. T.O., T. Takekoshi, K.O. and Y.F. designed and tested the warm optics, the room-temperature calibration chopper and the DESHIMA–ASTE hardware interface. A.K. and K.F. manufactured the warm optics, and S.N. measured its surface accuracy. K. Karatsu, Y.T. and J.M. developed the DESHIMA local controller. D.J.T. and T.O. were responsible for the logistics in the transportation of the equipment to ASTE. T.O. led the installation of DESHIMA on ASTE, done by T.O., T. Takekoshi, K. Karatsu, D.J.T., R.H. and A.E. R.H. and K. Karatsu were responsible for the re-integration of the DESHIMA hardware on the ASTE site. K. Karatsu and T.O. realized remote control of DESHIMA on ASTE. T. Takekoshi aligned the warm optics using the scheme he developed. S. Ishii, A.T., Y.T., K. Karatsu, T. Takekoshi, T.U., T.I., K.C. and K.S. defined the data structure. A.T. and T.I. developed the De:code software. Y.T. led the astronomical observations and selected the target objects. Observations were conducted from the TAO facility in San Pedro de Atacama and from NAOJ by Y.T., K.S., T.I., A.T., T. Takekoshi, T.O., K. Karatsu, K.C., Y.Y., T.J.L.C.B., S. Ishii, T.U. and A.E. Y.T. developed the on-sky chopping scheme. T. Takekoshi led the dismounting of DESHIMA, done by T. Takekoshi, K. Karatsu, M.N., K.F. and A.E. The following authors autonomously analysed the on-telescope data and wrote the corresponding sections of this paper: K.S. (Mars), T. Takekoshi (sky dip calibration, in collaboration with J.S. and K. Karatsu), T. Tsukagoshi (VV 114, IRC+10216), S. Ikarashi (Orion, NGC 253). A.E. led the writing of the paper, and all authors have contributed to improving the quality. Project management: S.A. managed the ASTE telescope; J.J.A.B. managed the development of the instrument hardware; T.O. managed the development of the warm optics and chopper, as well as the scheme and hardware for installing DESHIMA on ASTE; Y.T. managed the astronomical commissioning and software development; A.E. managed the DESHIMA project on the top level.

Correspondence to Akira Endo.

Ethics declarations

Competing interests

The authors declare no competing interests.

Additional information

Peer review information: Nature Astronomy thanks Ted Huang, Omid Noroozian and the other, anonymous, reviewer(s) for their contribution to the peer review of this work.

Publisher’s note: Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.

Supplementary information

Supplementary Information

Supplementary Figs. 1 and 2, and text.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark