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31 July 1998 Wideband 3-mm SIS mixers operated with partial saturation
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We built fixed-tuned SIS mixers for use between 70 and 115 GHz on the Berkeley-Illinois-Maryland Association (BIMA) array. The mixers are similar to 215 GHz SIS devices designed by R. Blundell et al. Our 1.4 X 1.4 micrometer Nb/Al-Al2O3/Nb junctions have extremely sharp I-V characteristics, with Rsg/Rn approximately 40, and (omega) RC approximately 2. Heterodyne tests were made with a temperature-regulated vane mounted in the input waveguide to the mixer block. With vane temperatures of 20 and 35 K, we measure double sideband receiver temperatures Trcvr of 17 K from 80 to 115 GHz. Some gain compression occurs for input load temperatures greater than 50 K. Hence, with vane temperatures of 85 and 280 K we measure Trcvr approximately 35 K. Similar noise temperatures are measured with 77 and 295 K loads mounted outside the dewar. Because the mixers are partially saturated, we bias the junctions approximately 0.1 mV above or below the gain maximum, where the receiver response is a nearly linear function of the input signal level. This yields Trcvr of 35 - 40 K and makes it possible to calibrate the receivers on the telescopes using the standard chopper wheel method. With no LO power applied to the mixer, we observe a small IF signal which is proportional to the square of the input load temperature; we believe this is due to self-mixing of blackbody photons in the junction.
© (1998) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Greg Engargiola and R. L. Plambeck "Wideband 3-mm SIS mixers operated with partial saturation", Proc. SPIE 3357, Advanced Technology MMW, Radio, and Terahertz Telescopes, (31 July 1998);


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