[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A frequency tunable terahertz heterodyne spectrometer, based on a third-order distributed feedback quantum cascade laser as a local oscillator, has been demonstrated by measuring molecular spectral lines of methanol (CH3OH) gas at 3.5 THz. By varying the bias voltage of the laser, we achieved a tuning range of ∼ 1 GHz of the lasing frequency, within which the molecular spectral lines were recorded. The measured spectra show excellent agreement with modeled ones. By fitting we derived the lasing frequency for each bias voltage accurately. The ultimate performance of the receiver including the resolution of noise temperature and frequency is also addressed.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A terahertz (THz) heterodyne spectrometer is demonstrated based on a quantum cascade laser (QCL) as a local oscillator (LO) and an NbN hot electron bolometer as a mixer, and it is used to measure high-resolution molecular spectral lines of methanol ( CH <sub>3</sub> OH ) between 2.913–2.918 THz. The spectral lines are taken from a gas cell containing methanol gas and using a single-mode QCL at 2.9156 THz as an LO, which is operated in the free running mode. By increasing the pressure of the gas, line broadening and saturation are observed. The measured spectra showed good agreement with a theoretical model.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: High-resolution heterodyne spectrometers operating at above 2 THz are crucial for detecting, e.g., the HD line at 2.7 THz and oxygen OI line at 4.7 THz in astronomy. The potential receiver technology is a combination of a hot electron bolometer (HEB) mixer and a THz quantum cascade laser (QCL) local oscillator (LO).Here we report the first highresolution heterodyne spectroscopy measurement of a gas cell using such a HEB-QCL receiver. The receiver employs a 2.9 THz free-running QCL as local oscillator and a NbN HEB as a mixer. By using methanol (CH3OH) gas as a signal source, we successfully recorded the methanol emission line at 2.92195 THz. Spectral lines at IF frequency at different pressures were measured using a FFTS and well fitted with a Lorentzian profile. Our gas cell measurement is a crucial demonstration of the QCL as LO for practical heterodyne instruments. Together with our other experimental demonstrations, such as using a QCL at 70 K to operate a HEB mixer and the phase locking of a QCL such a receiver is in principle ready for a next step, which is to build a real instrument for any balloon-, air-, and space-borne observatory.