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Interest in THz technology is growing, with projects such as the Atacama large millimeter array (ALMA) astronomical observatory, biohazard remote detection, high frequency radar and other detection systems. This paper presents the design, fabrication and test results of a 1.6 THz superconducting phonon-cooled NbN hot electron bolometer. Elements of the mixer design, including simulation results and S-parameters, are presented. A novel fabrication process, the suspended sidewall nano patterned stencil (SSNaPS) procedure, along with unique thin silicon backside processing, is used to create these THz mixers. For the phonon-cooled mixer, a receiver noise temperature of 3474 K and a mixer noise temperature of 613 K were obtained. DC characterization and RF test results are discussed.
Date of Publication: June 2009