19 May 2006 An array of antenna-coupled superconducting microbolometers for passive indoors real-time THz imaging
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Abstract
The temperature resolving power (NETD) of millimeter wave imagers based on InP HEMT MMIC radiometers is typically about 1 K (30 ms), but the MMIC technology is limited to operating frequencies below ~ 150 GHz. In this paper we report the first results from a pixel developed for an eight pixel sub-array of superconducting antenna-coupled microbolometers, a first step towards a real-time imaging system, with frequency coverage of 0.2 - 3.6 THz. These detectors have demonstrated video-rate NETDs in the millikelvin range, close to the fundamental photon noise limit, when operated at a bath temperature of ~ 4K. The detectors will be operated within a turn-key cryogen-free pulse tube refrigerator, which allows for continuous operation without the need for liquid cryogens. The outstanding frequency agility of bolometric detectors allows for multi-frequency imaging, which greatly enhances the discrimination of e.g. explosives against innoncuous items concealed underneath clothing.
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A. Luukanen, P. Helistö, J. S. Penttilä, H. Seppä, H. Sipola, C. R. Dietlein, E. N. Grossman, "An array of antenna-coupled superconducting microbolometers for passive indoors real-time THz imaging", Proc. SPIE 6212, Terahertz for Military and Security Applications IV, 62120Y (19 May 2006); doi: 10.1117/12.669044; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.669044
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