Fabrication process and noise properties of antenna-coupled microbolometers based on superconducting YBCO films

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An analysis of how the detectivity and lifetime depend on the fabrication process of superconducting antenna-coupled microbolometers has been carried out. The temperature dependences of responsivity and noise equivalent power (NEP) have been estimated in terms of the thermal model. To reveal the main degradation mechanism, 1/f-noise characterization has been used. Monte-Carlo simulation of the annealing procedure of YBa2Cu3O7(YBCO) films for the operating ranges of frequency and temperature has shown that prevailing sources of flicker noise in superconducting microstrips are associated with transitions of oxygen atoms situated close to low-angle boundaries of the film blocks. The magnetron sputtering technique has been optimized to reduce the Hooge parameter for flicker noise to a record-breaking low value for YBCO films of about 10-4at 93 K. Comparative analysis of chemical, ion and laser etching techniques by low-temperature scanning electron microscopy and magneto-optics allowed the fabrication of microstrips with uniform current distribution characterized by critical current density higher than 106A cm-2at 77 K and long-time stability. The process of low-energy ion milling of YBCO films with an Ar+beam generated in a duopigatron ion source was used to reach a width resolution at the topology edge better than 0.2 m. The antenna-coupled bolometers fabricated from the superconducting microstrips were used to register microwave radiation at a frequency of 70.3 GHz and temperature of 93 K. It is demonstrated that the developed technology makes possible the fabrication of long-lived YBCO-based antenna microbolometers with electrical NEPe= 1.5 × 10-12W Hz-1/2. The calculated response time of the antenna is about 30-150 ns. Further development is associated with fabrication of coupling microbolometers with immersed lens, with predicted optical detectivity D*= (4 × 109- 4 × 1010) cm Hz1/2W-1in the wavelength range 100-1000 m.

Document Type: Miscellaneous

Affiliations: 1: Electrotechnical University, St Petersburg, 197376, Russia 2: S I Vavilov State Optical Institute, St Petersburg, 199034, Russia 3: University of Oslo, PO Box 1048 Blindern, 0316 Oslo, Norway 4: Ioffe Physico-Technical Institute, St Petersburg, 194021, Russia

Publication date: January 1, 2000



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