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Stability of heterodyne terahertz receivers

Kooi, J. W. and Baselmans, J. J. A. and Baryshev, A. and Schieder, R. and Hajenius, M. and Gao, J. R. and Klapwijk, T. M. and Voronov, B. and Gol'tsman, G. (2006) Stability of heterodyne terahertz receivers. Journal of Applied Physics, 100 (6). Art. No. 064904. ISSN 0021-8979. https://resolver.caltech.edu/CaltechAUTHORS:KOOjap06

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Abstract

In this paper we discuss the stability of heterodyne terahertz receivers based on small volume NbN phonon cooled hot electron bolometers (HEBs). The stability of these receivers can be broken down in two parts: the intrinsic stability of the HEB mixer and the stability of the local oscillator (LO) signal injection scheme. Measurements show that the HEB mixer stability is limited by gain fluctuations with a 1/f spectral distribution. In a 60 MHz noise bandwidth this results in an Allan variance stability time of ~0.3 s. Measurement of the spectroscopic Allan variance between two intermediate frequency (IF) channels results in a much longer Allan variance stability time, i.e., 3 s between a 2.5 and a 4.7 GHz channel, and even longer for more closely spaced channels. This implies that the HEB mixer 1/f noise is strongly correlated across the IF band and that the correlation gets stronger the closer the IF channels are spaced. In the second part of the paper we discuss atmospheric and mechanical system stability requirements on the LO-mixer cavity path length. We calculate the mixer output noise fluctuations as a result of small perturbations of the LO-mixer standing wave, and find very stringent mechanical and atmospheric tolerance requirements for receivers operating at terahertz frequencies.


Item Type:Article
Additional Information:©2006 American Institute of Physics (Received 3 November 2005; accepted 19 July 2006; published online 22 September 2006) We wish to acknowledge Serguei Cherednichenko and Therese Berg for very helpful HEB performance discussions, Juan Pardo for his help in modeling atmospheric conditions encountered in the laboratory, and Wolfgang Wild for his unwavering support and coordination. This work was supported in part by NSF Grant No. AST-0229008 and Radionet.
Subject Keywords:heterodyne detection; receivers; niobium compounds; electron-phonon interactions; bolometers; mixers (circuits)
Issue or Number:6
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:KOOjap06
Persistent URL:https://resolver.caltech.edu/CaltechAUTHORS:KOOjap06
Alternative URL:http://dx.doi.org/10.1063/1.2336498
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:5508
Collection:CaltechAUTHORS
Deposited By: Archive Administrator
Deposited On:20 Oct 2006
Last Modified:02 Oct 2019 23:23

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