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A 385-500 GHz Low Noise Superconductor-Insulator- Superconductor Mixer for ALMA Band 8
IEICE TRANSACTIONS on Electronics Vol.E89-C No.2 pp.170-176
Publication Date: 2006/02/01
Online ISSN: 1745-1353
Print ISSN: 0916-8516
Type of Manuscript: Special Section PAPER (Special Section on Superconducting High-frequency Devices)
Atacama large millimeter/submillimeter array,
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We report on the design and experimental results of a fix-tuned Superconductor-Insulator-Superconductor (SIS) mixer for Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) band 8 (385-500 GHz) receivers. Nb-based SIS junctions of a current density of 10 kA/cm2 and one micrometer size (fabricated with a two-step lift-off process) are employed to accomplish the ALMA receiver specification, which requires wide frequency coverage as well as low noise temperature. A parallel-connected twin-junction (PCTJ) is designed to resonate at the band center to tune out the junction geometric capacitance. A waveguide-microstrip probe is optimized to have nearly frequency-independent impedance at the probe's feed point, thereby making it easy to match the low-impedance PCTJ over a wide frequency band. The RF embedding impedance is retrieved by fitting the measured pumped I-V curves to confirm good matching between PCTJ and signal source. We demonstrate here a minimum double-sideband receiver noise temperature of 3 times of quantum limits for an intermediate-frequency range of 4-8 GHz. The mixers were measured in band 8 cartridge with a sideband separation scheme. Single-sideband receiver noise below ALMA specification was achieved over the whole band.