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Proceedings Paper

Heterodyne gas cell measurements at 2.9 THz using a quantum cascade laser as local oscillator
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Paper Abstract

High-resolution heterodyne spectrometers operating at above 2 THz are crucial for detecting, e.g., the HD line at 2.7 THz and oxygen OI line at 4.7 THz in astronomy. The potential receiver technology is a combination of a hot electron bolometer (HEB) mixer and a THz quantum cascade laser (QCL) local oscillator (LO).Here we report the first highresolution heterodyne spectroscopy measurement of a gas cell using such a HEB-QCL receiver. The receiver employs a 2.9 THz free-running QCL as local oscillator and a NbN HEB as a mixer. By using methanol (CH3OH) gas as a signal source, we successfully recorded the methanol emission line at 2.92195 THz. Spectral lines at IF frequency at different pressures were measured using a FFTS and well fitted with a Lorentzian profile. Our gas cell measurement is a crucial demonstration of the QCL as LO for practical heterodyne instruments. Together with our other experimental demonstrations, such as using a QCL at 70 K to operate a HEB mixer and the phase locking of a QCL such a receiver is in principle ready for a next step, which is to build a real instrument for any balloon-, air-, and space-borne observatory.

Paper Details

Date Published: 15 July 2010
PDF: 7 pages
Proc. SPIE 7741, Millimeter, Submillimeter, and Far-Infrared Detectors and Instrumentation for Astronomy V, 774118 (15 July 2010); doi: 10.1117/12.857658
Show Author Affiliations
Y. Ren, Delft Univ. of Technology (Netherlands)
Purple Mountain Observatory (China)
China Graduate School (China)
J. R. Gao, Delft Univ. of Technology (Netherlands)
SRON Netherlands Institute for Space Research (Netherlands)
J. N. Hovenier, Delft Univ. of Technology (Netherlands)
R. Higgins, National Univ. of Ireland (Ireland)
W. Zhang, Purple Mountain Observatory (China)
A. Bell, Max-Planck-Institut für Radioastronomie (Germany)
B. Klein, Max-Planck-Institut für Radioastronomie (Germany)
T. M. Klapwijk, Delft Univ. of Technology (Netherlands)
S. C. Shi, Purple Mountain Observatory (China)
T.-Y. Kao, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (United States)
S. Kumar, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (United States)
Q. Hu, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (United States)
J. L. Reno, Sandia National Labs. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 7741:
Millimeter, Submillimeter, and Far-Infrared Detectors and Instrumentation for Astronomy V
Wayne S. Holland; Jonas Zmuidzinas, Editor(s)

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