Photonics (2019-01-01)

THz Mixing with High-<i>T</i><sub>C</sub> Hot Electron Bolometers: A Performance Modeling Assessment for Y-Ba-Cu-O Devices

  • Romain Ladret,
  • Annick Dégardin,
  • Vishal Jagtap,
  • Alain Kreisler

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 6, no. 1
p. 7


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Hot electron bolometers (HEB) made from high-TC superconducting YBa2Cu3O7⁻x (YBCO) oxide nano-constrictions are promising THz mixers, due to their expected wide bandwidth, large mixing gain, and low intrinsic noise. The challenge for YBCO resides, however, in the chemical reactivity of the material and the related aging effects. In this paper, we model and simulate the frequency dependent performance of YBCO HEBs operating as THz mixers. We recall first the main hypotheses of our hot spot model taking into account both the RF frequency effects in the YBCO superconducting transition and the nano-constriction impedance at THz frequencies. The predicted performance up to 4 THz is given in terms of double sideband noise temperature TDSB and conversion gain G. At 2.5 THz for instance, TDSB ≅ 1000 K and G ≅ − 6 dB could be achieved at 12.5 μW local oscillator power. We then consider a standoff target detection scheme and examine the feasibility with YBCO devices. For instance, detection at 3 m through cotton cloth in passive imaging mode could be readily achieved in moderate humidity conditions with 10 K resolution.