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Jason Austermann (Fed)

Dr. Jason (“Jay”) Austermann is an experimental physicist in the Quantum Sensors Group of the Quantum Electromagnetics Division. Dr. Austermann first joined NIST in 2014 and leads research in both the Long Wavelength and Novel Devices projects. His research is centered on the development of superconducting power sensors in the microwave to far-infrared portion of the electromagnetic spectrum. This includes the design, fabrication and characterization of new forms and applications of transition edge sensor (TES) and microwave kinetic inductance detector (MKID) technologies. Such devices have applications spanning cosmology, astronomy, security imaging, and quantum information science. In the cosmology application, these ultra-sensitive cryogenic sensors are coupled to powerful telescopes and together are capable of measuring minute electromagnetic fluctuations from the birth of the Universe. Such measurements probe many aspects of fundamental physics, including the total mass of the neutrino species, the matter/energy content and nature of the Universe (dark matter, dark energy), and use the big bang as a laboratory to test physics at energies unattainable in even the most powerful particle accelerators on Earth.

Dr. Austermann’s research also includes the development of new technologies that are enabling to the application and function of such power sensors. This includes the development of millimeter-wave optics such as novel metamaterial lenses and lithographically defined silicon-platelet feedhorns. These optics are used to efficiently couple photons to the sensors in a controlled and well-characterized manner. Furthermore, Dr. Austermann works in the development of superconducting microwave resonators for multiplexing hundreds, or thousands, of sensors per signal line.

Dr. Austermann also has interests in outreach and education. In his spare time, Dr. Austermann enjoys giving guest lectures and leading discussion sessions on careers in science to students ranging from grade school to college. He’s also enjoyed volunteering at local observatories and science events. Dr. Austermann has advised and overseen numerous student research projects ranging from high-school to graduate students.

Dr. Austermann’s full publication record can be found on his Google Scholar profile.  His 250+ publications have been cited over 10,000 times.

Research Interests

  • Ultra-Sensitive Superconducting Power Sensors and Polarimeters
  • Metamaterial Optics
  • Astronomical and Cosmological Polarimetry
  • Superconducting Multiplexing
  • Microwave Kinetic Inductance Detectors (MKIDs)


  • U.S. Department of Commerce 2022 Energy & Environmental Stewardship Award 2022 
  • U.S. Department of Commerce Gold Medal 2021 
  • NIST Distinguished Associate Award 2017 


Demonstration of 220/280 GHz Multichroic Feedhorn-Coupled TES Polarimeter

Samantha L. Walker, Carlos E. Sierra, Jason E. Austermann, James A. Beall, Daniel T. Becker, Bradley J. Dober, Shannon M. Duff, Gene C. Hilton, Johannes Hubmayr, Jeffrey L. Van Lanen, Jeff McMahon, Sara M. Simon, Joel N. Ullom, Michael R. Vissers
We describe the design and measurement of feedhorn-coupled, transition-edge sensor (TES) polarimeters with two passbands centered at 220 GHz and 280 GHz

Tile-and-trim micro-resonator array fabrication optimized for high multiplexing factors

Christopher M. McKenney, Jason E. Austermann, James A. Beall, Bradley J. Dober, Shannon M. Duff, Jiansong Gao, Gene C. Hilton, Johannes Hubmayr, Dale Li, Joel N. Ullom, Jeffrey L. Van Lanen, Michael R. Vissers
We present a superconducting micro-resonator array fabrication method that is scalable and reconfigurable and has been optimized for high multiplexing factors

Low-Temperature Detectors for CMB Imaging Arrays

Johannes Hubmayr, Jason E. Austermann, James A. Beall, Daniel T. Becker, Bradley J. Dober, Shannon M. Duff, Jiansong Gao, Gene C. Hilton, Christopher M. McKenney, Joel N. Ullom, Jeffrey L. Van Lanen, Michael R. Vissers
We review advances in low-temperature detector (LTD) arrays for cosmic microwave background (CMB) polarization experiments, with a particular emphasis on

Millimeter-Wave Polarimeters Using Kinetic Inductance Detectors for TolTEC and Beyond

Jason Austermann, James A. Beall, Sean A. Bryan, Bradley Dober, Jiansong Gao, Gene C. Hilton, Johannes Hubmayr, Phillip Mauskopf, Christopher M. McKenney, S M. Simon, Joel Ullom, Michael Vissers, G W. Wilson
Microwave kinetic inductance detectors (MKIDs) provide a compelling path forward to the large-format polarimeter, imaging, and spectrometer arrays needed for

Superconducting micro-resonator arrays with ideal frequency spacing

Xiangliang Liu, Weijie Guo, Y Wang, M Dai, L F. Wei , Bradley J. Dober, Christopher M. McKenney, Gene C. Hilton, Johannes Hubmayr, Jason E. Austermann, Joel Ullom, Jiansong Gao, Michael Vissers
We present a wafer trimming technique for producing superconducting micro-resonator arrays with highly uniform frequency spacing. With the light-emitting diode
Created October 9, 2019, Updated October 11, 2023