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

Kooi, J. W. and Kawamura, J. and Chen, J. and Chattopadhyay, G. and Pardo, J. R. and Zmuidzinas, J. and Phillips, T. G. and Bumble, B. and Stern, J. and LeDuc, H. G. (2000) A Low Noise NbTiN-Based 850 GHz SIS Receiver for the Caltech Submillimeter Observatory. International Journal of Infrared and Millimeter Waves, 21 (9). pp. 1357-1373. ISSN 0195-9271. doi:10.1023/A:1026444721454.

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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 GHz), a commonly used SIS superconductor. The instrument uses an open structure twin-slot SIS mixer that consists of two Nb/AlN/NbTiN 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.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription
Kooi, J. W.0000-0002-6610-0384
Chattopadhyay, G.0000-0001-7942-5025
Additional Information:© Plenum Publishing Corporation 2000. Received June 29, 2000. We wish to thank Martin Saur and Clency Lee-Yow at Custom Microwave for their suggestions and tremendous efforts in fabricating the mirrors on a very short notice, and Marti Gould for his incredible overnight machining skills. This work was supported in part by NASA/JPL and its Center for Space Microelectronics Technology, by NASA Grant Nos NAG5-4890, NAGW-107, and NAG2-1068, and by the Caltech Submillimeter Observatory (NSF Grant No. AST-9615025). J. Chen likes to acknolwedge the support from the Japanese Ministry of Education, Science, Sports, and Culture.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT)UNSPECIFIED
Subject Keywords:SIS receiver; twin-slot planar antenna; NbTiN superconductor; bandgap energy; AlN tunnel barrier; RF loss; cooled optics
Issue or Number:9
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20170408-161614005
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Official Citation:Kooi, J.W., Kawamura, J., Chen, J. et al. International Journal of Infrared and Millimeter Waves (2000) 21: 1357. doi:10.1023/A:1026444721454
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:76158
Deposited By: 1Science Import
Deposited On:14 Jul 2017 21:40
Last Modified:15 Nov 2021 16:57

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