Terahertz heterodyne receiver based on a quantum cascade laser and a superconducting bolometer

Gao, J. R.; Hovenier, J. N.; Yang, Z. Q.; Baselmans, J. J. A.; Baryshev, A.; Hajenius, M.; Klapwijk, T. M.; Adam, A. J. L.; Klaassen, T. O.; Williams, B. S.; Kumar, S.; Hu, Q.; Reno, J. L.
June 2005
Applied Physics Letters;6/13/2005, Vol. 86 Issue 24, p244104
Academic Journal
We report the first demonstration of an all solid-state heterodyne receiver that can be used for high-resolution spectroscopy above 2 THz suitable for space-based observatories. The receiver uses a NbN superconducting hot-electron bolometer as mixer and a quantum cascade laser operating at 2.8 THz as local oscillator. We measure a double sideband receiver noise temperature of 1400 K at 2.8 THz and 4.2 K, and find that the free-running QCL has sufficient power stability for a practical receiver, demonstrating an unprecedented combination of sensitivity and stability.


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