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A mesoscopic ballistic electron mixer with efficient frequency conversion at radio frequency

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4 Author(s)
Cumming, D.R.S. ; Dept. of Electron. & Electr. Eng., Glasgow Univ., UK ; Holland, Martin C. ; Weaver, J.M.R. ; Beaumont, S.P.

The voltage-current characteristic of a four-terminal mesoscopic cross is grossly nonlinear, exhibiting two clear regions of negative differential resistance (NDR). This behavior is potentially useful in millimeter wave detectors since these small devices have very low parasitic capacitance and great sensitivity. The device exploits a planar GaAs technology which lends itself to integrated systems. We have exploited one of the NDR regions (at a current of only 1.9 μA) to carry out frequency conversion. At low frequency we observed efficient frequency doubling, with the second harmonic exceeding the fundamental by up to 10 dB at the output. We have also operated the device at radio frequency (5 MHz) and demonstrated both asynchronous and heterodyne amplitude demodulation. The effect of DC current bias was examined and it was shown that biasing the device close to the NDR gave the optimum frequency conversion. A conversion loss in the heterodyne mixer circuit of 3 dB was achieved

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Electron Devices, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:43 ,  Issue: 10 )