Optical characterisation of a strained-silicon cold-electron bolometer at 160 GHz

Tom L. R. Brien, Peter A. R. Ade, Peter S. Barry, Chris J. Dunscombe, David R. Leadley, Dmitry V. Morozov, Maksym Myronov, E. H. C. Parked, Martin J. Prest, Mika Prunnila, Rashmi V. Sudiwala, Terry E. Whall, Philip D. Mauskopf

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference article in proceedingsScientificpeer-review


    We present a study of a cold-electron bolometer operating at 350 mK with a twin-slot antenna coupling radiation at 160 GHz. The detector's absorbing element consists of degenerately-doped strained silicon and has Schottky contacts to superconducting aluminium leads. These contacts allow for direct electron cooling of the absorber to below the phonon temperature, enabling the cold-electron bolometer to achieve much faster time constants (τ <; 1 μs) compared to conventional bolometric detectors while not sacrificing sensitivity. We measure both the dark and optically-loaded noise of the detector via a novel method of cross-correlating the outputs of two amplifiers in order to measure noise below the amplifier noise level. From this we measure the photon-noise limited noise-equivalent power of the detector to be 6.6 × 10-17 W Hz-1/2 when observing a 77-Kelvin source.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationMillimeter Waves and THz Technology Workshop (UCMMT), 2015 8th UK, Europe, China
    PublisherIEEE Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers
    ISBN (Electronic)978-1-4673-7434-7, 978-1-4673-7433-0
    Publication statusPublished - 28 Apr 2016
    MoE publication typeA4 Article in a conference publication
    EventUK, Europe, China Millimeter Waves and THz Technology Workshop - National Museum of Wales, Cardiff, United Kingdom
    Duration: 14 Sept 201515 Sept 2015
    Conference number: 8


    ConferenceUK, Europe, China Millimeter Waves and THz Technology Workshop
    Abbreviated titleUCMMT
    Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom


    • absorption cooling
    • electrons
    • infrared detectors
    • millimeter waves
    • slot antennas
    • strained silicon
    • terahertz waves


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