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8 September 2004 A superconducting antenna-coupled microbolometer for THz applications
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In this paper we demonstrate a superconducting bolometer, coupled to a lithographic antenna. The detector is operated at 4.2 K, and has an electrical noise equivalent power (NEP) of 14 fW/Hz1/2. We note that this sensitivity is approaching the typical background noise limit for terrestrial observations. The attractive feature of antenna-coupled microbolometers is that the simple fabrication procedure allows straightforward scaling to arrays, multi frequency capability, as well as intrinsic polarization selectivity. These features potentially enable the remote detection of chemical or biological agents by measuring differential absorption with two or more bolometers coupled to antennas designed for the intended frequencies. The noise equivalent temperature difference attainable with these detectors is around 40 mK at 0.5 THz for an integration time of 1/30 s and 30 % bandwidth, which would enable unprecedented image quality in application to detection of concealed weapons. Although the devices require cooling to cryogenic temperatures, we note that compact, closed-cycle cryocoolers exist on the market, which removes the need for liquid cryogens and provides user-friendly operation.
© (2004) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Arttu Luukanen, Robert H. Hadfield, Aaron J. Miller, and Erich N. Grossman "A superconducting antenna-coupled microbolometer for THz applications", Proc. SPIE 5411, Terahertz for Military and Security Applications II, (8 September 2004);

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