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Noise performance of NIA Hot Electron Bolometer mixers at 2.5 THz and its dependence on the contact resistance.

Authors:
J.J.A. Baselmans, M. Hajenius, J.R. Gao, T.M. Klapwijk, P.A.J. de Korte, B. Voronov, G. Gol'tsman
Abstract:
NbN hot electron bolometer mixers (HEBM) are at this moment the best heterodyne receivers for frequencies above 1 Thz. However, the fabrication procedure of these devices is such that the quality of the interface between the NbN superconducting film and the contact structure is not under good control. The result is a low transparency interface between the bolometer itself and the contact/antenna structure. In this paper we report a detailed experimental study on a novel idea to increase the transparency of this interface. This leads to a record sensitivity and more reproducible performance. We compare identical bolometers, coupled with a spiral antenna, with different NbN bolometer-contact pad interfaces. We find that cleaning the NbN interface alone results in an increase in the noise temperature. However, cleaning the NbN interface and adding a thin additional superconductor prior to the gold contact deposition improves the noise temperature of the HEBm with more than a factor of 2. A device with a contact pad on top of an in-situ cleaned NbN film consisting of 10 nm of NbTiN and 40 nm of gold has a DSB noise temperature of 1050 K at 2.5 THz.
Categories:
HEB Mixers
Year:
2003
Session:
1
Full-text:
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Page Number(s):
11-19