Superconducting hot-electron bolometer: From the discovery of hot-electron phenomena to practical applications
The discovery of hot-electron phenomena in a thin superconducting film in the last century was followed by numerous experimental studies of its appearance in different materials aiming for a better understanding of the phenomena and consequent implementation of terahertz detection systems for practical applications. In contrast to the competitors such as superconductor-insulator-superconductor tunnel junctions and Schottky diodes, the hot electron bolometer (HEB) did not demonstrate any frequency limitation of the detection mechanism. The latter, in conjunction with a decent performance, rapidly made the HEB mixer the most attractive candidate for heterodyne observations at frequencies above 1 THz. The successful operation of practical instruments (the Heinrich Hertz Telescope, the Receiver Lab Telescope, APEX, SOFIA, Hershel) ensures the importance of the HEB technology despite the lack of rigorous theoretical routine for predicting the performance. In this review, we provide a summary of experimental and theoretical studies devoted to understanding the HEB physics, and an overview of various fabrication routes and materials.
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 present thorough measurements of the intrinsic detection efficiency in the wavelength range from 350 to 2500 nm for meander-type TaN and NbN superconducting nanowire single-photon detectors with different widths of the nanowire. The width varied from 70 nm to 130 nm. The open-beam configuration allowed us to accurately normalize measured spectra and to extract the intrinsic detection efficiency. For detectors from both materials the intrinsic detection efficiency at short wavelengths amounts at 100% and gradually decreases at wavelengths larger than the specific cut-off wavelengths, which decreases with the width of the nanowire. Furthermore, we show that applying weak magnetic fields perpendicular to the meander plane decreases the smallest detectable photon flux.
The dynamics of a two-component Davydov-Scott (DS) soliton with a small mismatch of the initial location or velocity of the high-frequency (HF) component was investigated within the framework of the Zakharov-type system of two coupled equations for the HF and low-frequency (LF) fields. In this system, the HF field is described by the linear Schrödinger equation with the potential generated by the LF component varying in time and space. The LF component in this system is described by the Korteweg-de Vries equation with a term of quadratic influence of the HF field on the LF field. The frequency of the DS soliton`s component oscillation was found analytically using the balance equation. The perturbed DS soliton was shown to be stable. The analytical results were confirmed by numerical simulations.
Radiation conditions are described for various space regions, radiation-induced effects in spacecraft materials and equipment components are considered and information on theoretical, computational, and experimental methods for studying radiation effects are presented. The peculiarities of radiation effects on nanostructures and some problems related to modeling and radiation testing of such structures are considered.
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.