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Terahertz-frequency waveguide NbN hot-electron bolometer mixer

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8 Author(s)
Kawamura, J. ; Jet Propulsion Lab., Pasadena, CA, USA ; Tong, C.-Y.E. ; Blundell, R. ; Papa, D.C.
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We have developed a low-noise waveguide heterodyne receiver for operation near 1 THz using phonon-cooled NbN hot-electron bolometers. The mixer elements are submicron-sized microbridges of 4 nm-thick NbN film fabricated on a quartz substrate. Operating at a bath temperature of 4.2 K, the double-sideband receiver noise temperature is 760 K at 1.02 THz and 1100 K at 1.26 THz. The local oscillator is provided by solid-state sources, and power measured at the source is less than 1 μW. The intermediate frequency bandwidth exceeds 2 GHz. The receiver was used to make the first ground-based heterodyne detection of a celestial spectroscopic line above 1 THz

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Applied Superconductivity, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:11 ,  Issue: 1 )