Optimal Cold-Electron Bolometer with a Superconductor-Insulator-Normal Tunnel Junction and an Andreev Contact
Paper in proceedings, 2006
A novel concept of the optimal Cold-Electron Bolometer (CEB) with a Superconductor-Insulator-Normal (SIN) Tunnel Junction and Andreev SN contact has been proposed. This concept has been developed to improve noise properties of the CEB by increasing current responsivity for SQUID readout (in voltage-biased mode) in comparison with classical CEB concept comprising two SIN tunnel junctions. In this configuration the power of incoming signal is not split between two series junctions and the current response of a single junction is twice larger in comparison with double junction structure.
The signal is concentrated from antenna to an absorber through capacitance of the tunnel junction from one side and Andreev contact from another side. HF matching is realized by resistance of a normal metal absorber that is independent on tunnel junction parameters. The volume of a normal metal is partly squeezed due to proximity effect of a superconducting electrode from the Andreev contact that also increases efficiency of the electron cooling.
The concept is based on direct electron cooling of the absorber by SIN tunnel junction that serves as negative electrothermal feedback for the signal. Noise properties are considerably improved by decreasing the electron temperature. Ultimate performance of the CEB is determined by optical load converted to shot noise of the signal readout. The goal is to achieve noise-equivalent power (NEP) of the CEB with standard SQUID readout less than photon noise. Ultimate NEP better than photon noise can be achieved practically in wide range of power loads from 0.1 fW (SPICA) to 30 pW (OLIMPO, CLOVER, PILOT). Applicability of the CEB to post-Herschel space missions looks very promising.
SIN tunnel junction