Chapter

Integrated Submm Wave Receiver: Development and Applications

DOI: 10.1007/978-3-642-20158-5_10 In book: Fundamentals of Superconducting Nanoelectronics, Publisher: Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg, Editors: Anatolie Sidorenko, pp.263-296

ABSTRACT A superconducting integrated receiver (SIR) comprises in a single chip a planar antenna combined with a superconductor-insulator-superconductor
(SIS) mixer, a superconducting Flux Flow Oscillator (FFO) acting as a Local Oscillator (LO) and a second SIS harmonic mixer
(HM) for the FFO phase locking. In this report, an overview of the SIR and FFO developments and optimizations is presented.
Improving on the fully Nb-based SIR we have developed and studied Nb–AlN–NbN circuits, which exhibit an extended operation
frequency range. Continuous tuning of the phase locked frequency has been experimentally demonstrated at any frequency in
the range 350–750 GHz. The FFO free-running linewidth has been measured between 1 and 5 MHz, which allows to phase lock up
to 97% of the emitted FFO power. The output power of the FFO is sufficient to pump the matched SIS mixer. Therefore, it is
concluded that the Nb–AlN–NbN FFOs are mature enough for practical applications.These achievements enabled the development
of a 480–650 GHz integrated receiver for the atmospheric-research instrument TErahertz and submillimeter LImb Sounder (TELIS).
This balloon-borne instrument is a three-channel superconducting heterodyne spectrometer for the detection of spectral emission
lines of stratospheric trace gases that have their rotational transitions at THz frequencies. One of the channels is based
on the SIR technology. We demonstrate for the first time the capabilities of the SIR technology for heterodyne spectroscopy
in general, and atmospheric limb sounding in particular. We also show that the application of SIR technology is not limited
to laboratory environments, but that it is well suited for remote operation under harsh environmental conditions. Light weight
and low power consumption combined with broadband operation and nearly quantum limited sensitivity make the SIR a perfect
candidate for future airborne and space-borne missions. The noise temperature of the SIR was measured to be as low as 120 K
in double sideband operation, with an intermediate frequency band of 4–8 GHz. The spectral resolution is well below 1 MHz,
confirmed by our measurements. Remote control of the SIR under flight conditions has been demonstrated in a successful balloon
flight in Kiruna, Sweden.Capability of the SIR for high-resolution spectroscopy has been successfully proven also in a laboratory
environment by gas cell measurements. The possibility to use SIR devices for the medical analysis of exhaled air will be discussed.
Many medically relevant gases have spectral lines in the sub-terahertz range and can be detected by an SIR-based spectrometer.
The SIR can be considered as an operational device, ready for many applications.

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    ABSTRACT: The concept of a fully superconducting integrated receiver is developed and experimentally tested. This single-chip sub-mm wave receiver includes a planar antenna integrated with a SIS mixer and an internal superconducting Josephson-type local oscillator (flux-flow oscillator, FFO). The receiver is tested with a DSB noise temperature below 100 K around 500 GHz being pumped by its internal local oscillator (LO). The instantaneous bandwidth of 15-20% is estimated via FTS and heterodyne measurements that meet the requirements of most practical applications. The far field antenna beam is measured as ≈f/10 with sidelobes below -16 dB that is suitable for coupling to a real telescope antenna. A nine-pixel imaging array receiver with each pixel containing an internally pumped receiver chip is developed and tested. A linewidth of the phase locked FFO as low as 1 Hz is measured relative to a reference oscillator in the frequency range 270-440 GHz. An rf amplifier on the base of a dc SQUID is developed and tested showing a noise figure below 10 K at 4 GHz and a bandwidth of about 300 MHz. This amplifier can be included as a part of an integrated receiver that is valuable for array applications.
    Superconductor Science and Technology 05/2000; 13(5):R53. · 2.76 Impact Factor
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    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The balloon-borne instrument TELIS (TErahertz and submillimetre LImb Sounder) is a three-channel superconducting heterodyne spectrometer for atmospheric research use. It detects spectral emission lines of stratospheric trace gases that have their rotational transitions at THz frequencies. One of the channels is based on the superconducting integrated receiver (SIR) technology. We demonstrate for the first time the capabilities of the SIR technology for heterodyne spectroscopy in general, and atmospheric limb sounding in particular. We also show that the application of SIR technology is not limited to laboratory environments, but that it is well suited for remote operation under harsh environmental conditions. Within a SIR the main components needed for a superconducting heterodyne receiver such as a superconductor–insulator–superconductor (SIS) mixer with a quasi-optical antenna, a flux-flow oscillator (FFO) as the local oscillator, and a harmonic mixer to phase lock the FFO are integrated on a single chip. Light weight and low power consumption combined with broadband operation and nearly quantum limited sensitivity make the SIR a perfect candidate for use in future airborne and space-borne missions. The noise temperature of the SIR was measured to be as low as 120 K, with an intermediate frequency band of 4–8 GHz in double-sideband operation. The spectral resolution is well below 1 MHz, confirmed by our measurements. Remote control of the SIR under flight conditions has been demonstrated in a successful balloon flight in Kiruna, Sweden. The sensor and instrument design are presented, as well as the preliminary science results from the first flight.
    Superconductor Science and Technology 03/2010; 23(2010-4):045016. · 2.76 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: A theoretical study is made of a travelling‐wave‐type oscillator, which utilizes a flux flow in a long Josephson junction for use as a local oscillator in the integrated superconducting receiver system. An internal electromagnetic field of the oscillator junction in the flux‐flow state is investigated both numerically and analytically. It is shown that the voltage amplitude of the internal oscillation increases gradually in the direction of the flux flow and reaches a maximum value at the junction end. An equivalent circuit of the oscillator is also obtained, which gives dependences of the emitted radiation on frequency, magnetic field, and load. It is shown that the output power attains the value of the order of 10<sup>-</sup><sup>6</sup> W in the frequency range between 100 and 500 GHz, and that the output power and the radiation frequency can be controlled by both the bias voltage and the applied magnetic field. These theoretical results explain quantitatively the experimental ones with a Pb‐alloy long junction of length 24 λ J .
    Journal of Applied Physics 01/1985; · 2.21 Impact Factor

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