Abstract

Terahertz quantum cascade lasers have been investigated with respect to their performance as a local oscillator in a heterodyne receiver. The beam profile has been measured and transformed in to a close to Gaussian profile resulting in a good matching between the field patterns of the quantum cascade laser and the antenna of a superconducting hot electron bolometric mixer. Noise temperature measurements with the hot electron bolometer and a 2.5 THz quantum cascade laser yielded the same result as with a gas laser as local oscillator.

© 2005 Optical Society of America

Full Article  |  PDF Article

References

  • View by:
  • |

  1. T. de Graauw and F. P. Helmich, �??Herschel-HIFI: the heterodyne instrument for the far-infrared�??, in The Ppromise of the Herschel Space Observatory, G.L.Pilbratt, J.Cernicharo, A.M.Heras, T.Prusti, R.Harris, edts., Proc. ESA SP-460, 45-51 (2001).
  2. R. Güsten, I. Camara, P. Hartogh, H.-W. Hübers, U. U. Graf, K. Jacobs, C. Kasemann, H.-P. Röser, R. T. Schieder, G. Schneider, O. Siebertz, J. Stutzki, G. Villanueva, A. Wagner, P. Van der Wal, and A. Wunsch, �??GREAT: the German receiver for astronomy at terahertz frequencies,�?? in Airborne Telescope Systems II, R. K. Melugin and H. P. Röser, eds., Proc. SPIE 4857, 56-61 (2002).
    [CrossRef]
  3. M. L. Edgar and J. Zmuidzinas, �??CASIMIR: a submillimeter heterodyne spectrometer for SOFIA�??, in Airborne Telescope Systems, R. K. Melugin and H. P. Röser, eds., Proc. SPIE 4014, 31-42 (2000).
    [CrossRef]
  4. H.-W. Hübers, A. Semenov, H. Richter, M. Schwarz, B. Günther, K. Smirnov, G. Gol�??tsman, and B. Voronov, �??Heterodyne Receiver for 3-5 THz with Hot Electron Bolometric Mixer�??, in: Millimeter and Submillimeter Detectors for Astronomy II, J. Zmuidzinas, W. S. Holland, and S. Withington, eds., Proc. SPIE 5498, 579-586 (2004).
    [CrossRef]
  5. R. W. Hoogeveen, P. A. Yagoubov, A. Maurellis, V. P. Koshelets, S. V. Shitov, U. Mair, M. Krocka, G. Wagner, M. Birk, H.-W. Hübers, H. Richter, A. Semenov, G. N. Gol'tsman, B. M. Voronov, B. N. Ellison, B. J. Kerridge, D. N. Matheson, B. Alderman, M. Harman, R. Siddans, and J. Reburn, �??New cryogenic heterodyne techniques applied in TELIS: the balloon-borne THz and submillimeter limb sounder for atmospheric research�??, in Infrared Spaceborne Remote Sensing XI, M. Strojnik, ed., Proc. SPIE 5152, 347-355 (2004).
    [CrossRef]
  6. I. Mehdi, �??THz local oscillator technology�??, in Millimeter and Submillimeter Detectors for Astronomy II, J. Zmuidzinas, W. S. Holland, and S. Withington, eds., Proc. SPIE 5498, 103-112 (2004).
    [CrossRef]
  7. R. Köhler, A. Tredicucci, F. Beltram, H. E. Beere, E. H. Linfield, A. G. Davies, D. A. Ritchie, R. C. Iotti, F. Rossi, �??Terahertz semiconductor-heterostructure laser�??, Nature 417, 156-159 (2002).
    [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  8. B. S. Williams, S. Kumar, Q. Hu, and J. L. Reno, �??Operation of terahertz quantum-cascade lasers at 164 K in pulsed mode and at 117 K in continuous-wave mode, Opt. Express 13, 3331-3339 (2005), <a href= "http://www.opticsexpress.org/abstract.cfm?URI=OPEX-13-9-3331.">http://www.opticsexpress.org/abstract.cfm?URI=OPEX-13-9-3331.</a>
    [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  9. S. Barbieri, J. Alton, H. E. Beere, J. Fowler, E. H. Linfield, and D. A. Ritchie, �??2.9 THz quantum cascade lasers operating up to 70 K in continuous wave�??, Appl. Phys. Lett. 85, 1674-1676 (2004).
    [CrossRef]
  10. L. Ajili, G. Scalari, J. Faist, H. E. Beere, J. Fowler, E. H. Linfield, D. A. Ritchie, and A. G. Davies, �??High power quantum cascade lasers operating at �?��??87 µm and 130 µm�??, Appl. Phys. Lett. 85, 3986-3988 (2004).
    [CrossRef]
  11. A. Tredicucci, L. Mahler, T. Losco, J. Xu, C. Mauro, R. Köhler, H. E. Beere, D. A. Ritchie, and E. H. Linfield, �??Advances in THz quantum cascade lasers: fulfilling the application potential�??, in Novel In-PlaneSemiconductor Lasers IV, C. Mermelstein, D. P. Bour, eds., Proc. SPIE 5738, 146-158 (2005).
    [CrossRef]
  12. L. Mahler, R. Köhler, A. Tredicucci, F. Beltram, H. E. Beere, E. H. Linfield, D. A. Ritchie, and A. G. Davies, �??Single-mode operation of terahertz quantum cascade lasers with distributed feedback resonators�??, Appl. Phys. Lett. 84, 5446-5448 (2004).
    [CrossRef]
  13. A. Barkan, F. K. Tittel, D. M. Mittleman, R. Dengler, P. H. Siegel, G. Scalari, L. Ajili, J. Faist, H. E. Beere, E. H. Linfield, A. G. Davies, and D. A. Ritchie, �?? Linewidth and tuning characteristics of terahertz quantum cascade lasers�??, Opt. Lett. 29, 575-577 (2004).
    [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  14. C. K. Walker, C. E. Groppi, C. Drouet d�??Aubigny, C. Kulesa, A. Hedden, D. Prober, I. Siddiqi, J. Kooi, G. Chen, and A. W. Lichtenberger, �??Integrated heterodyne array receivers for submillimeter astronomy�??, in Millimeter and Submillimeter Detectors for Astronomy, T. G. Phillips and J. Zmuidzinas, eds., Proc. SPIE 4855, 349-354 (2002).
    [CrossRef]
  15. U. U. Graf and S. Heyminck, �??Fourier gratings as submillimeter beam splitters�??, IEEE Trans. on Antennas and Propagation 49, 542-546 (2001).
    [CrossRef]
  16. J. R. Gao, J. N. Hovenier, Z. Q. Yang, J. J. A. Baselmans, A. Baryshew, M. Hajenius, T. M. Klapwijk, A. J. L. Adam, T. O. Klaassen, B. S. Williams, S. Kumar, Q. Hu, and J. L. Reno, �??Terahertz heterodyne receiver based on a quantum cascade laser and a superconducting bolometer�??, Appl. Phys. Lett. 86, 244104 (2005).
    [CrossRef]
  17. J. Faist, M. Beck, T. Aellen, and E. Gini, �??Quantum-cascade lasers based on a bound-to-continuum transition�??, Appl. Phys. Lett. 78, 147-149 (2001).
    [CrossRef]
  18. L. Mahler, A. Tredicucci, R. Köhler, F. Beltram, H. E. Beere, E. H. Linfield, and D. A. Ritchie, �??High performance operation of single-mode terahertz quantum cascade lasers with surface plasmon gratings�??, submitted to Apl. Phys. Lett. (2005).
    [CrossRef]
  19. H. P. Röser, H.-W. Hübers, T. W. Crowe, and W. C. B. Peatman, �??Nanostructure GaAs Schottky diodes for far-infrared heterodyne receivers�??, Infrared Phys. Technol. 35, 451-462 (1994).
    [CrossRef]
  20. A. D. Semenov, H.-W. Hübers, J. Schubert, G. N. Gol�??tsman, A. I. Elantiev, B. M. Voronov, and E. M. Gershenzon, �??Design and performance of the lattice-cooled hot-electron terahertz mixer�??, J. Appl. Phys. 88, 6758-6767 (2000).
    [CrossRef]
  21. H.-W. Hübers, J. Schubert, A. Krabbe, M. Birk, G. Wagner, A. Semenov, G. Gol�??tsman, B. Voronov, and E. M. Gershenzon, �??Parylene anti-reflection coating of a quasi-optical hot-electron bolometric mixer at terahertz frequencies�??, Infrared Phys. and Technol. 42, 41-47 (2001).
    [CrossRef]
  22. H. Ekström, B. S. Karasik, E. L. Kollberg, and K. S. Yngvesson, �??Conversion gain and noise of niobium superconducting hot-electron mixers�??, IEEE Trans. Microwave Theory and Tech. 43, 938-947 (1995).
    [CrossRef]

Apl. Phys. Lett. (1)

L. Mahler, A. Tredicucci, R. Köhler, F. Beltram, H. E. Beere, E. H. Linfield, and D. A. Ritchie, �??High performance operation of single-mode terahertz quantum cascade lasers with surface plasmon gratings�??, submitted to Apl. Phys. Lett. (2005).
[CrossRef]

Appl. Phys. Lett. (5)

L. Mahler, R. Köhler, A. Tredicucci, F. Beltram, H. E. Beere, E. H. Linfield, D. A. Ritchie, and A. G. Davies, �??Single-mode operation of terahertz quantum cascade lasers with distributed feedback resonators�??, Appl. Phys. Lett. 84, 5446-5448 (2004).
[CrossRef]

J. R. Gao, J. N. Hovenier, Z. Q. Yang, J. J. A. Baselmans, A. Baryshew, M. Hajenius, T. M. Klapwijk, A. J. L. Adam, T. O. Klaassen, B. S. Williams, S. Kumar, Q. Hu, and J. L. Reno, �??Terahertz heterodyne receiver based on a quantum cascade laser and a superconducting bolometer�??, Appl. Phys. Lett. 86, 244104 (2005).
[CrossRef]

J. Faist, M. Beck, T. Aellen, and E. Gini, �??Quantum-cascade lasers based on a bound-to-continuum transition�??, Appl. Phys. Lett. 78, 147-149 (2001).
[CrossRef]

S. Barbieri, J. Alton, H. E. Beere, J. Fowler, E. H. Linfield, and D. A. Ritchie, �??2.9 THz quantum cascade lasers operating up to 70 K in continuous wave�??, Appl. Phys. Lett. 85, 1674-1676 (2004).
[CrossRef]

L. Ajili, G. Scalari, J. Faist, H. E. Beere, J. Fowler, E. H. Linfield, D. A. Ritchie, and A. G. Davies, �??High power quantum cascade lasers operating at �?��??87 µm and 130 µm�??, Appl. Phys. Lett. 85, 3986-3988 (2004).
[CrossRef]

IEEE Trans. Microwave Theory and Tech (1)

H. Ekström, B. S. Karasik, E. L. Kollberg, and K. S. Yngvesson, �??Conversion gain and noise of niobium superconducting hot-electron mixers�??, IEEE Trans. Microwave Theory and Tech. 43, 938-947 (1995).
[CrossRef]

IEEE Trans. on Antennas and Propagation (1)

U. U. Graf and S. Heyminck, �??Fourier gratings as submillimeter beam splitters�??, IEEE Trans. on Antennas and Propagation 49, 542-546 (2001).
[CrossRef]

Infrared Phys. and Technol. (1)

H.-W. Hübers, J. Schubert, A. Krabbe, M. Birk, G. Wagner, A. Semenov, G. Gol�??tsman, B. Voronov, and E. M. Gershenzon, �??Parylene anti-reflection coating of a quasi-optical hot-electron bolometric mixer at terahertz frequencies�??, Infrared Phys. and Technol. 42, 41-47 (2001).
[CrossRef]

Infrared Phys. Technol. (1)

H. P. Röser, H.-W. Hübers, T. W. Crowe, and W. C. B. Peatman, �??Nanostructure GaAs Schottky diodes for far-infrared heterodyne receivers�??, Infrared Phys. Technol. 35, 451-462 (1994).
[CrossRef]

J. Appl. Phys. (1)

A. D. Semenov, H.-W. Hübers, J. Schubert, G. N. Gol�??tsman, A. I. Elantiev, B. M. Voronov, and E. M. Gershenzon, �??Design and performance of the lattice-cooled hot-electron terahertz mixer�??, J. Appl. Phys. 88, 6758-6767 (2000).
[CrossRef]

Nature (1)

R. Köhler, A. Tredicucci, F. Beltram, H. E. Beere, E. H. Linfield, A. G. Davies, D. A. Ritchie, R. C. Iotti, F. Rossi, �??Terahertz semiconductor-heterostructure laser�??, Nature 417, 156-159 (2002).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

Opt. Express (1)

Opt. Lett. (1)

Proc. ESA (1)

T. de Graauw and F. P. Helmich, �??Herschel-HIFI: the heterodyne instrument for the far-infrared�??, in The Ppromise of the Herschel Space Observatory, G.L.Pilbratt, J.Cernicharo, A.M.Heras, T.Prusti, R.Harris, edts., Proc. ESA SP-460, 45-51 (2001).

Proc. SPIE (7)

R. Güsten, I. Camara, P. Hartogh, H.-W. Hübers, U. U. Graf, K. Jacobs, C. Kasemann, H.-P. Röser, R. T. Schieder, G. Schneider, O. Siebertz, J. Stutzki, G. Villanueva, A. Wagner, P. Van der Wal, and A. Wunsch, �??GREAT: the German receiver for astronomy at terahertz frequencies,�?? in Airborne Telescope Systems II, R. K. Melugin and H. P. Röser, eds., Proc. SPIE 4857, 56-61 (2002).
[CrossRef]

M. L. Edgar and J. Zmuidzinas, �??CASIMIR: a submillimeter heterodyne spectrometer for SOFIA�??, in Airborne Telescope Systems, R. K. Melugin and H. P. Röser, eds., Proc. SPIE 4014, 31-42 (2000).
[CrossRef]

H.-W. Hübers, A. Semenov, H. Richter, M. Schwarz, B. Günther, K. Smirnov, G. Gol�??tsman, and B. Voronov, �??Heterodyne Receiver for 3-5 THz with Hot Electron Bolometric Mixer�??, in: Millimeter and Submillimeter Detectors for Astronomy II, J. Zmuidzinas, W. S. Holland, and S. Withington, eds., Proc. SPIE 5498, 579-586 (2004).
[CrossRef]

R. W. Hoogeveen, P. A. Yagoubov, A. Maurellis, V. P. Koshelets, S. V. Shitov, U. Mair, M. Krocka, G. Wagner, M. Birk, H.-W. Hübers, H. Richter, A. Semenov, G. N. Gol'tsman, B. M. Voronov, B. N. Ellison, B. J. Kerridge, D. N. Matheson, B. Alderman, M. Harman, R. Siddans, and J. Reburn, �??New cryogenic heterodyne techniques applied in TELIS: the balloon-borne THz and submillimeter limb sounder for atmospheric research�??, in Infrared Spaceborne Remote Sensing XI, M. Strojnik, ed., Proc. SPIE 5152, 347-355 (2004).
[CrossRef]

I. Mehdi, �??THz local oscillator technology�??, in Millimeter and Submillimeter Detectors for Astronomy II, J. Zmuidzinas, W. S. Holland, and S. Withington, eds., Proc. SPIE 5498, 103-112 (2004).
[CrossRef]

A. Tredicucci, L. Mahler, T. Losco, J. Xu, C. Mauro, R. Köhler, H. E. Beere, D. A. Ritchie, and E. H. Linfield, �??Advances in THz quantum cascade lasers: fulfilling the application potential�??, in Novel In-PlaneSemiconductor Lasers IV, C. Mermelstein, D. P. Bour, eds., Proc. SPIE 5738, 146-158 (2005).
[CrossRef]

C. K. Walker, C. E. Groppi, C. Drouet d�??Aubigny, C. Kulesa, A. Hedden, D. Prober, I. Siddiqi, J. Kooi, G. Chen, and A. W. Lichtenberger, �??Integrated heterodyne array receivers for submillimeter astronomy�??, in Millimeter and Submillimeter Detectors for Astronomy, T. G. Phillips and J. Zmuidzinas, eds., Proc. SPIE 4855, 349-354 (2002).
[CrossRef]

Cited By

OSA participates in CrossRef's Cited-By Linking service. Citing articles from OSA journals and other participating publishers are listed here.

Alert me when this article is cited.


Figures (6)

Fig. 1.
Fig. 1.

Beam profiles (40×40 mm2 area) of the 2.5 THz QCL (left panel) and the 4.3 THz QCL (right panel) measured at 61 mm and 77 mm distance, respectively. The inset shows the orientation of the QCL (ridge on top, substrate at the bottom). The cross marks the position of the QCL projected into the beam diagram.

Fig. 2.
Fig. 2.

Cross sections of the beam profiles shown in Fig. 1. a) cross section of the 4.3 THz beam profile, c) cross section of the 2.5 THz profile, b) same cross section as in curve a) but scaled to 2.5 THz. The center of the QCL is at 20 mm.

Fig. 3.
Fig. 3.

Beam profile of the QCL at the position of the HEB mixer (~800 mm from the QCL) after passing through a TPX lens (focal length 85 mm).

Fig. 4.
Fig. 4.

Difference signal of two longitudinal modes of the 2.5 THz QCL. The FWHM is ~30 kHz. This is limited by the bandwidth of the spectrum analyzer (30 KHz). The time for the sweep was 4 ms (inset: experimental set-up).

Fig. 5.
Fig. 5.

Experimental set-up for noise temperature measurements with a QCL as LO and a superconducting HEB mixer.

Fig. 6.
Fig. 6.

IV curves of a HEB mixer pumped with a QCL at 2.5 THz. The arrow indicates increasing LO power. The square marks the position where the lowest noise temperature (2700 K DSB) has been obtained. It is worth noting that the same noise temperature has been achieved with a gas laser as LO.

Metrics