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Two liquid nitrogen-cooled sapphire loaded cavities (SLC's) operating at about 80 K have been successfully constructed, Both cavities were designed to operate on the whispering gallery (WG) E/sub 12, 1, /spl delta// mode at a resonant frequency of 8.95 GHz. The first SLC was used as the frequency-determining element in a loop oscillator, while the second was used as a frequency discriminator to measure oscillator phase noise. The single sideband phase noise of a free running loop oscillator incorporating the first SLC was measured as -133 dBc/Hz at an offset frequency of 1 kHz, and was limited by the SLC Q-factor and the amplifier flicker phase noise. By using specially designed feedback electronics the oscillator phase noise was reduced to -156 dBc/Hz and -162 dBc/Hz at 1 and 10 kHz offset, respectively. This measurement was shown to be limited by the electronic flicker noise imposed by the phase detector in the feedback electronics, To our knowledge the phase noise and resonator Q-factor of 6/spl times/10/sup 7/ represent the best results ever measured at liquid nitrogen temperatures or above.
Ultrasonics, Ferroelectrics and Frequency Control, IEEE Transactions on (Volume:43 , Issue: 5 )
Date of Publication: Sept. 1996