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Recently developed techniques in three broad areas have been drawn upon to help solve the problem of improving microwave mixer diode performance. Specifically examined were the advantages offered by: 1) pertinent processes from the latest transistor technology, 2) new semiconductor materials, notably gallium arsenide, indium arsenide, and indium antimonide, and 3) cooling. These techniques and their theoretical bases are described, and supporting experimental evidence is presented. Use of these techniques can extend the frequency range in which detector sensitivity is good by an order of magnitude, from about 105 mc to 106 mc. In some cases, the already good sensitivity below 104 mc can be improved by an order of magnitude (from a receiver temperature of 2000Â°K to 200Â°K). In addition, burnout resistance in radar-detector applications can be improved by an order of magnitude. The technology described is also applicable to a number of other microwave-detector problems, e.g., those encountered in various types of video receivers, these applications are dealt with to some extent.