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Y-Ba-Cu-O superconducting hot electron heterodyne mixers: simulated THz performance for stand-off target detection
Author(s): Alain J. Kreisler; Romain G. Ladret; Vishal S. Jagtap; Annick F. Dégardin
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Paper Abstract

In the THz range, high-TC superconductor (HTS) hot electron bolometers (HEB) are offering a competitive alternative to moderately cooled (e.g., 60 to 80 K) Schottky mixers. This is due to HTS HEBs large expected bandwidth (tens of GHz), and low local oscillator power requirements (tens of microwatts, as compared to several milliwatts required for Schottky diode pumping). Indeed, the large instantaneous bandwidth is driven by the very short electron to phonon relaxation time in Y-Ba-Cu-O HTS oxide − 1 to 2 ps, typically, whereas it is about 20 ns in NbN, a low- TC superconductor (LTS). Besides, as for the LTS counterparts, it is mandatory to grow ultra thin high quality HTS epitaxial films, in order to process micro or nano-bolometers (nano-constrictions) exhibiting good mixing performances. Early HEB models were based on the point bolometer approach, which describes the device in terms of thermal reservoirs only. We have extended the hot spot model (initially introduced for LTS HEBs) to Y-Ba-Cu-O HEBs, taking into account the spatial dependence of the electron and phonon temperatures along the nano-constriction. We have also introduced the THz frequency effects in the Y-Ba-Cu-O superconducting transition as well as the impedance matching between the nanoconstriction and the antenna. We have checked the feasibility of stand-off target detection operating in the passive mode with an Y-Ba-Cu-O HEB THz heterodyne mixer. For instance, detection at 5 m through cotton cloth in passive imaging mode could be readily achieved in standard humidity conditions with 10 K resolution at 2.5 THz.

Paper Details

Date Published: 18 October 2019
PDF: 15 pages
Proc. SPIE 11164, Millimetre Wave and Terahertz Sensors and Technology XII, 1116408 (18 October 2019); doi: 10.1117/12.2533145
Show Author Affiliations
Alain J. Kreisler, CNRS, CentraleSupélec, Univ. Paris-Sud, Univ. Paris-Saclay, Sorbonne Univ. (France)
Romain G. Ladret, CNRS, CentraleSupélec, Univ. Paris-Sud, Univ. Paris-Saclay, Sorbonne Univ. (France)
Vishal S. Jagtap, CNRS, CentraleSupélec, Univ. Paris-Sud, Univ. Paris-Saclay, Sorbonne Univ. (France)
Univ. of Wuppertal (Germany)
Annick F. Dégardin, CNRS, CentraleSupélec, Univ. Paris-Sud, Univ. Paris-Saclay, Sorbonne Univ. (France)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 11164:
Millimetre Wave and Terahertz Sensors and Technology XII
Neil A. Salmon; Frank Gumbmann, Editor(s)

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