ISSTT Proceedings

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A Low Noise NbTiN-based 850 GHz SIS Receiver for the Caltech Submillimeter Observatory

Authors:
J. W. Kooi, J. Kawamura, J. Chen, G. Chattopadhyay, J. R Pardo, J. Zmuidzinas, T.G. Phillips, B. Bumble, J. Stern, H.G. LeDuc
Abstract:
We have developed a niobium titanium nitride (NbTiN) based superconductor-insulator-superconductor (SIS) receiver to cover the 350 micron atmospheric window. This frequency band lies entirely above the energy gap of niobium (700 Gliz), a commonly used SIS superconductor. The instrument uses an open structure twin-slot SIS mixer that consists of two Nb/A1N/NbTils4 tunnel junctions, NbTiN thin-film microstrip tuning elements, and a NbTiN ground plane. The optical configuration is very similar to the 850 GHz waveguide receiver that was installed at the Caltech Submillimeter Observatory (CSO) in 1997. To minimize front-end loss, we employed reflecting optics and a cooled beamsplitter at 4 K. The instrument has an uncorrected receiver noise temperature of 205K DSB at 800 GHz and 410K DSB at 900 GHz. The degradation in receiver sensitivity with frequency is primarily due to an increase in the mixer conversion loss, which is attributed to the mismatch between the SIS junction and the twin-slot antenna impedance. The overall system performance has been confirmed through its use at the telescope to detect a wealth of new spectroscopic lines.
Categories:
SIS
Year:
2000
Session:
2
Full-text:
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Page Number(s):
116-128