Benefits of Bolometer Joule Stepping and Joule Pulsing

S. L. Stever, F. Couchot, V. Sauvage, N. Coron

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


We introduce the ‘Joule stepping’ technique, whereupon a constantly biased bolometer has its bias voltage modified by a small additional step. We demonstrate this technique using a composite NTD semiconductor bolometer and a pulsing device that sends an extra step in voltage. We demonstrate the results of the technique over a range of bias voltages at 100, 200 and 300 mK. Joule stepping allows us to directly measure long thermal tails with low amplitudes in the response of the global thermal architecture of bolometers and could be a useful tool to quickly and easily calibrate the thermal time response of individual bolometric detectors or channels. We also show that the derivative of the Joule step is equivalent to the bolometer response to a δ-pulse (or Joule pulse), which allows for greater understanding of transient behaviour with a better signal-to-noise ratio than pulsing alone can provide. Finally, we compare Joule step pulses with pulses produced by α particles, finding a good agreement between their fast decay constants, but a discrepancy between their thermal decay constants.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)110-117
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Low Temperature Physics
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - Apr 1 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • Bolometers
  • Calibration
  • Systematic effects

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • General Materials Science
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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