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Proceedings Paper

An array of antenna-coupled superconducting microbolometers for passive indoors real-time THz imaging
Author(s): A. Luukanen; P. Helistö; J. S. Penttilä; H. Seppä; H. Sipola; C. R. Dietlein; E. N. Grossman
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Paper Abstract

The temperature resolving power (NETD) of millimeter wave imagers based on InP HEMT MMIC radiometers is typically about 1 K (30 ms), but the MMIC technology is limited to operating frequencies below ~ 150 GHz. In this paper we report the first results from a pixel developed for an eight pixel sub-array of superconducting antenna-coupled microbolometers, a first step towards a real-time imaging system, with frequency coverage of 0.2 - 3.6 THz. These detectors have demonstrated video-rate NETDs in the millikelvin range, close to the fundamental photon noise limit, when operated at a bath temperature of ~ 4K. The detectors will be operated within a turn-key cryogen-free pulse tube refrigerator, which allows for continuous operation without the need for liquid cryogens. The outstanding frequency agility of bolometric detectors allows for multi-frequency imaging, which greatly enhances the discrimination of e.g. explosives against innoncuous items concealed underneath clothing.

Paper Details

Date Published: 19 May 2006
PDF: 9 pages
Proc. SPIE 6212, Terahertz for Military and Security Applications IV, 62120Y (19 May 2006); doi: 10.1117/12.669044
Show Author Affiliations
A. Luukanen, Millimetre-wave Lab. of Finland (Finland)
VTT Technical Research Ctr. of Finland (Finland)
P. Helistö, VTT Technical Research Ctr. of Finland (Finland)
J. S. Penttilä, VTT Technical Research Ctr. of Finland (Finland)
H. Seppä, VTT Technical Research Ctr. of Finland (Finland)
H. Sipola, VTT Technical Research Ctr. of Finland (Finland)
C. R. Dietlein, Univ. of Colorado at Boulder (United States)
National Institute of Standards and Technology (United States)
E. N. Grossman, National Institute of Standards and Technology (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 6212:
Terahertz for Military and Security Applications IV
Dwight L. Woolard; R. Jennifer Hwu; Mark J. Rosker; James O. Jensen, Editor(s)

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