Two-junction tuning circuits for submillimeter SIS mixers

J. Zmuidzinas, H.G. LeDuc, J.A. Stern, S.R. Cypher
1994 IEEE transactions on microwave theory and techniques  
The capacitance of superconducting tunnel junctions can seriously degrade the performance of quasiparticle (SIS) mixers operating in the submillimeter band, so it is essential to provide a circuit for tuning out this capacitance at the operating frequency. In this article, we present two new tuning circuits for SIS mixers which use a pair of SIS junctions connected by an inductance. Compared to previously proposed tuning circuits, ours have a broader bandwidth, are easier to scale to higher
more » ... uencies, and may be easier to fabricate. We have constructed quasi-optical mixers which employ these tuning circuits, using NblAl-OxidelNb SIS junctions defined by optical lithography. The performance of these devices is excellent, giving receiver noise temperatures of 113 K (DSB) at 490 GHz and 230 K DSB at 612 GHz. In addition to demonstrating the effectiveness of our tuning circuit, these results show that quasi-optical mixers can be competitive with or superior to waveguide mixers at submillimeter wavelengths. The mixers continue to perform well at frequencies up to 672 GHz, which is about 95% of the Nb gap frequency.
doi:10.1109/22.285084 fatcat:xvrjxsmejrdwvgtrmadg7vrmfm