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A 275–425-GHz Tunerless Waveguide Receiver Based on AlN-Barrier SIS Technology

Kooi, Jacob W. and Kovács, Attila and Sumner, Matthew C. and Chattopadhyay, Goutam and Ceria, Riley and Miller, Dave and Bumble, Bruce and LeDuc, Henry G. and Stern, Jeffrey A. and Phillips, Tom G. (2007) A 275–425-GHz Tunerless Waveguide Receiver Based on AlN-Barrier SIS Technology. IEEE Transactions on Microwave Theory and Techniques, 55 (10). pp. 2086-2096. ISSN 0018-9480. doi:10.1109/TMTT.2007.905503.

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We report on a 275–425-GHz tunerless waveguide receiver with a 3.5–8-GHz IF. As the mixing element, we employ a high-current-density Nb–AlN–Nb superconducting–insulating– superconducting (SIS) tunnel junction. Thanks to the combined use of AlN-barrier SIS technology and a broad bandwidth waveguide to thin-film microstrip transition, we are able to achieve an unprecedented 43% instantaneous bandwidth, limited by the receiver's corrugated feedhorn. The measured double-sideband (DSB) receiver noise temperature, uncorrected for optics loss, ranges from 55 K at 275 GHz, 48 K at 345 GHz, to 72 K at 425 GHz. In this frequency range, the mixer has a DSB conversion loss of 2.3 1 dB. The intrinsic mixer noise is found to vary between 17–19 K, of which 9 K is attributed to shot noise associated with leakage current below the gap. To improve reliability, the IF circuit and bias injection are entirely planar by design. The instrument was successfully installed at the Caltech Submillimeter Observatory (CSO), Mauna Kea, HI, in October 2006.

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Kooi, Jacob W.0000-0002-6610-0384
Chattopadhyay, Goutam0000-0001-7942-5025
Additional Information:© 2007 IEEE. Reprinted with permission. Manuscript received April 9, 2007; revised July 11, 2007. [Posted online: 2007-10-08] This work was supported in part by the National Science Foundation under Grant AST-0540882. The authors wish to thank J. Lamb, OVRO Millimeter Group, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, for help with modeling the corrugated feedhorn, W. Jellema, Netherlands Institute for Space Research SRON, Groningen, The Netherlands, and T. Finn, National University of Ireland, Maynooth, Ireland, for their physical optics calculations on M6, R. Chamberlin, Caltech Submillimeter Observatory (CSO), Hilo, HI, for his help in setting up the PLL, for CSO manpower allocation, and for test spectra, J. Groseth, California Institute of Technology, for laying out the needed bias electronics PCBs, D. Warden, California Institute of Technology, and P. Nelson, CSO, for their diligence in assembling the many bias boxes and cryostat, A. Guyer, CSO, and E. Bufil, CSO, for help with the mounting hardware, N. Wadefalk and P. Starsky, both with the Chalmers University of Technology, Göteborg, Sweden, for their help and advice with the IF microwave electronics and for supplying the 2.2 K LNAs, S. Weinreb, Jet Propulsion Laboratory and California Institute of Technology, for making available the cryogenic low noise MMICs, T. Vayonakis, California Institute of Technology, for his help with AR coating of the infrared and pressure windows, F. Rice, California Institute of Technology, for support of Supermix, P. Dieleman, Netherlands Institute for Space Research SRON, for his advice on modeling MAR in our AlN-barrier SIS junctions, and J. Zmuidzinas, California Institute of Technology, for general advise and insight.
Subject Keywords:Allan variance, AlN tunnel barrier, broadband waveguide transition, dc break, heterodyne receiver, high current density, IF match, multiple Andreev reflection (MAR), planar bandpass filter, shot noise, superconducting-insulator-superconducting (SIS) mixer, system stability.
Issue or Number:10
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:KOOieeetmtt07
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Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:9225
Deposited By: Archive Administrator
Deposited On:27 Nov 2007
Last Modified:08 Nov 2021 20:57

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