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Proceedings Paper

Terahertz-frequency waveguide HEB mixers for spectral line astronomy
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Paper Abstract

We report on the development of waveguide-based mixers for operation beyond 2 THz. The mixer element is a superconducting hot-electron bolometer (HEB) fabricated on a silicon-on-insulator (SOI) substrate. Because it is beyond the capability of conventional machining techniques to produce the fine structures required for the waveguide embedding circuit for use at such high frequencies, we employ two lithography-based approaches to produce the waveguide circuit: a metallic micro-plating process akin to 3-D printing and deep reactive ion etching (DRIE) silicon micromachining. Various mixer configurations have been successfully produced using these approaches. A single-ended mixer produced by the metal plating technique has been demonstrated with a receiver noise temperature of 970 K (DSB) at a localoscillator frequency of 2.74 THz. A similar mixer, produced using a silicon-based micro-machining technique, has a noise temperature of 2000 K (DSB) at 2.56 THz. In another example, we have successfully produced a waveguide RF hybrid for operation at 2.74 THz. This is a key component in a balanced mixer, a configuration that efficiently utilizes local oscillator power, which is scarce at these frequencies. In addition to allowing us to extend the frequency of operation of waveguide-based receivers beyond 2 THz, these technologies we employ here are amenable to the production of large array receivers, where numerous copies of the same circuit, precisely the same and aligned to each other, are required.

Paper Details

Date Published: 24 September 2012
PDF: 7 pages
Proc. SPIE 8452, Millimeter, Submillimeter, and Far-Infrared Detectors and Instrumentation for Astronomy VI, 845211 (24 September 2012); doi: 10.1117/12.926666
Show Author Affiliations
Faouzi Boussaha, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)
Jonathan Kawamura, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)
Jeffery Stern, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)
Cecile Jung, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)
Anders Skalare, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)
Victor White, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 8452:
Millimeter, Submillimeter, and Far-Infrared Detectors and Instrumentation for Astronomy VI
Wayne S. Holland, Editor(s)

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