Submicrometer MgB2 hot electron bolometer mixers
Paper in proceedings, 2013
Phonon-cooled hot electron bolometer mixers based on MgB2 film are promising candidates for THz radio astronomy at frequency above 1 THz. The short electron-phonon interaction time and the high critical temperature of the MgB2 (39 K in the bulk), compared to other intermetallic compounds, make it suitable for applications where wide IF bandwidth and low noise are needed. The currently achieved gain and noise bandwidths are 3.4 GHz and 7 GHz for HEBs fabricated in 10 nm MgB2 films. The noise temperature of 800 K was measured at 600 GHz local oscillator (LO) frequency using the Y-factor technique.
MgB2 has been demonstrated to be sensitive to the oxygen as well as water, therefore it makes the fabrication of sub-µm HEBs very challenging. HEBs were fabricated using electron beam lithography in 10 nm MgB2 films with a bolometer area in the range of 0.09 and 0.25 µm2. We report the performance of the devices respect to the noise temperature at LO frequency up to 2.5 THz. Using the isothermal technique the LO power requirement was estimated respect to the bolometer area.
Based on the material parameters obtained from the experiments, the two temperature model simulations showed a gain bandwidth as large as 8-10 GHz for thin MgB2 films.