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THz Mixing with High-<i>T</i><sub>C</sub> Hot Electron Bolometers: A Performance Modeling Assessment for Y-Ba-Cu-O Devices

By Romain Ladret, Annick Dégardin, Vishal Jagtap and Alain Kreisler


Hot electron bolometers (HEB) made from high-<i>T</i><sub>C</sub> superconducting YBa<sub>2</sub>Cu<sub>3</sub>O<sub>7</sub><sub>&#8315;<i>x</i></sub> (YBCO) oxide nano-constrictions are promising THz mixers, due to their expected wide bandwidth, large mixing gain, and low intrinsic noise. The challenge for YBCO resides, however, in the chemical reactivity of the material and the related aging effects. In this paper, we model and simulate the frequency dependent performance of YBCO HEBs operating as THz mixers. We recall first the main hypotheses of our hot spot model taking into account both the RF frequency effects in the YBCO superconducting transition and the nano-constriction impedance at THz frequencies. The predicted performance up to 4 THz is given in terms of double sideband noise temperature <i>T</i><sub>DSB</sub> and conversion gain <i>G</i>. At 2.5 THz for instance, <i>T</i><sub>DSB</sub> &#8773; 1000 K and <i>G</i> &#8773; &#8722; 6 dB could be achieved at 12.5 &#956;W local oscillator power. We then consider a standoff target detection scheme and examine the feasibility with YBCO devices. For instance, detection at 3 m through cotton cloth in passive imaging mode could be readily achieved in moderate humidity conditions with 10 K resolution

Topics: THz heterodyne mixer, hot electron bolometer, Y-Ba-Cu-O high-<i>T</i><sub>C</sub> superconductor, hot spot model, RF local power distribution, THz impedance, noise temperature, conversion loss, standoff detection prediction, passive imaging, Applied optics. Photonics, TA1501-1820
Publisher: MDPI AG
Year: 2019
DOI identifier: 10.3390/photonics6010007
OAI identifier:
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