Probing the stability of HEB mixers with microwave injection
Using a microwave probe as a tool, we have performed experiments aimed at understanding the origin of the output-power fluctuations in hot-electron-bolometer (HEB) mixers. We use a probe frequency of 1.5 GHz. The microwave probe picks up impedance changes of the HEB, which are examined upon demodulation of the reflected wave outside the cryostat. This study shows that the HEB mixer operates in two different regimes under a terahertz pump. At a low pumping level, strong pulse modulation is observed, as the device switches between the superconducting state and the normal state at a rate of a few megahertz. When pumped much harder, to approximate the low-noise mixer operating point, residual modulation can still be observed, showing that the HEB mixer is intrinsically unstable even in the resistive state. Based on these observations, we introduced a low-frequency termination to the HEB mixer. By terminating the device in a 50-Ω resistor in the megahertz frequency range, we have been able to improve the output-power Allan time of our HEB receiver by a factor of four to about 10 s for a detection bandwidth of 15 MHz, with a corresponding gain fluctuation of about 0.035%.
We report on the development of a highly sensitive optical receiver for heterodyne IR spectroscopy at the communication wavelength of 1.5 μm (200 THz) by use of a superconducting hot-electron bolometer. The results are important for the resolution of narrow spectral molecular lines in the near-IR range for the study of astronomical objects, as well as for quantum optical tomography and fiber-optic sensing. Receiver configuration as well as fiber-to-detector light coupling designs are discussed. Light absorption of the superconducting detectors was enhanced by nano-optical antennas, which were coupled to optical fibers. An intermediate frequency (IF) bandwidth of about 3 GHz was found in agreement with measurements at 300 GHz, and a noise figure of about 25 dB was obtained that was only 10 dB above the quantum limit.
A thorough spectral study of the intrinsic single-photon detection efficiency in superconducting TaN and NbN nanowires with different widths has been performed. The experiment shows that the cut-off of the intrinsic detection efficiency at near-infrared wavelengths is most likely controlled by the local suppression of the barrier for vortex nucleation around the absorption site. Beyond the cut-off quasi-particle diffusion in combination with spontaneous, thermally activated vortex crossing explains the detection process. For both materials, the reciprocal cut-off wavelength scales linearly with the wire width where the scaling factor agrees with the hot-spot detection model.
The development of terahertz imaging instruments for security systems is on the cutting edge of terahertz technology. We are developing a THz imaging system based on a superconducting integrated receiver (SIR). An SIR is a new type of heterodyne receiver based on an SIS mixer integrated with a flux-flow oscillator (FFO) and a harmonic mixer which is used for phase-locking the FFO. Employing an SIR in an imaging system means building an entirely new instrument with many advantages compared to traditional systems. In this project we propose a prototype THz imaging system using an 1 pixel SIR and 2D scanner. At a local oscillator frequency of 500 GHz the best noise equivalent temperature difference (NETD) of the SIR is 10 mK at an integration time of 1 s and a detection bandwidth of 4 GHz. The scanner consists of two rotating flat mirrors placed in front of the antenna consisting of a spherical primary reflector and an aspherical secondary reflector. The diameter of the primary reflector is 0.3 m. The operating frequency of the imaging system is 600 GHz, the frame rate is 0.1 FPS, the scanning area is 0.5 × 0.5 m2, the image resolution is 50 × 50 pixels, the distance from an object to the scanner was 3 m. We have obtained THz images with a spatial resolution of 8 mm and a NETD of less than 2 K.
We demonstrate coherent dynamics of quantized magnetic fluxes in a superconducting loop with a weak link, a nanobridge patterned from the same thin NbN film as the loop. The bridge is a short, rounded shape constriction, close to 10 nm long and 20–30 nm wide, having minimal width at its center. It superposes neighboring fluxoid states of the loop. Quantum state control and coherent oscillations in the driven time evolution of the tunnel-junctionless system are achieved. Decoherence and energy relaxation in the system are studied using a combination of microwave spectroscopy and direct time-domain techniques. The effective flux noise behavior suggests inductance fluctuations as a possible cause of the decoherence.
The problem of designing stabilizing resonator (SR) for a 4-mm wavelengths range coaxial magnetron with low level of output power has been considered. The recommendations for choosen the coaxial resonator external to internal diameter relations depending on technical project requirements are developed.
This volume presents new results in the study and optimization of information transmission models in telecommunication networks using different approaches, mainly based on theiries of queueing systems and queueing networks .
The paper provides a number of proposed draft operational guidelines for technology measurement and includes a number of tentative technology definitions to be used for statistical purposes, principles for identification and classification of potentially growing technology areas, suggestions on the survey strategies and indicators. These are the key components of an internationally harmonized framework for collecting and interpreting technology data that would need to be further developed through a broader consultation process. A summary of definitions of technology already available in OECD manuals and the stocktaking results are provided in the Annex section.