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Four photons sensitivity heterodyne detection of submillimeter radiation with superconducting tunnel junctions

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4 Author(s)
A. Karpov ; Inst. de Radioastron. Millimetrique, Domaine Univ., France ; J. Blondel ; M. Voss ; K. H. Gundlach

An ultra low noise SIS receiver has been prepared for radio astronomy. The minimum double sideband receiver noise temperature is about 30 K which corresponds to 2 /spl planck//spl omega//k or an equivalent number of 4 photons of noise. The minimum measured double sideband mixer noise temperature is about 10 K which corresponds to 0.6 /spl planck//spl omega//k or approximately to 1 photon of noise. The fixed tuned SIS mixer operates in the 290-370 GHz frequency range. The submicron niobium junctions mere fabricated using photoresist lines for junction definition. The receiver has been used at the 30 m IRAM radio telescope in Spain in winter 1994. Telescope system noise temperature of 500 K single sideband has been achieved when the sky opacity was about 0.17.<>

Published in:

IEEE Transactions on Applied Superconductivity  (Volume:5 ,  Issue: 2 )