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Applications of kinetic inductance: parametric amplifier & phase shifter, 2DEG coupled co-planar structures & microstrip to slotline transition at RF frequencies

Description

Kinetic inductance springs from the inertia of charged mobile carriers in alternating electric fields and it is fundamentally different from the magnetic inductance which is only a geometry dependent property.

Kinetic inductance springs from the inertia of charged mobile carriers in alternating electric fields and it is fundamentally different from the magnetic inductance which is only a geometry dependent property. The magnetic inductance is proportional to the volume occupied by the electric and magnetic fields and is often limited by the number of turns of the coil. Kinetic inductance on the other hand is inversely proportional to the density of electrons or holes that exert inertia, the unit mass of the charge carriers and the momentum relaxation time of these charge carriers, all of which can be varied merely by modifying the material properties. Highly sensitive and broadband signal amplifiers often broaden the field of study in astrophysics. Quantum-noise limited travelling wave kinetic inductance parametric amplifiers offer a noise figure of around 0.5 K ± 0.3 K as compared to 20 K in HEMT signal amplifiers and can be designed to operate to cover the entire W-band (75 GHz – 115 GHz).The research cumulating to this thesis involves applying and exploiting kinetic inductance properties in designing a W-band orthogonal mode transducer, quadratic gain phase shifter with a gain of ~49 dB over a meter of microstrip transmission line. The phase shifter will help in measuring the maximum amount of phase shift ∆ϕ_max (I) that can be obtained from half a meter transmission line which helps in predicting the gain of a travelling wave parametric amplifier. In another project, a microstrip to slot line transition is designed and optimized to operate at 150 GHz and 220 GHz frequencies, that is used as a part of horn antenna coupled microwave kinetic inductance detector proposed to operate from 138 GHz to 250 GHz. In the final project, kinetic inductance in a 2D electron gas (2DEG) is explored by design, simulation, fabrication and experimentation. A transmission line model of a 2DEG proposed by Burke (1999), is simulated and verified experimentally by fabricating a capacitvely coupled 2DEG mesa structure. Low temperature experiments were done at 77 K and 10 K with photo-doping the 2DEG. A circuit model of a 2DEG coupled co-planar waveguide model is also proposed and simulated.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2016

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Advancements in Kinetic Inductance Detector, Spectrometer, and Amplifier Technologies for Millimeter-Wave Astronomy

Description

The inductance of a conductor expresses its tendency to oppose a change in current flowing through it. For superconductors, in addition to the familiar magnetic inductance due to energy stored

The inductance of a conductor expresses its tendency to oppose a change in current flowing through it. For superconductors, in addition to the familiar magnetic inductance due to energy stored in the magnetic field generated by this current, kinetic inductance due to inertia of charge carriers is a significant and often dominant contribution to total inductance. Devices based on modifying the kinetic inductance of thin film superconductors have widespread application to millimeter-wave astronomy. Lithographically patterning such a film into a high quality factor resonator produces a high sensitivity photodetector known as a kinetic inductance detector (KID), which is sensitive to frequencies above the superconducting energy gap of the chosen material. Inherently multiplexable in the frequency domain and relatively simple to fabricate, KIDs pave the way to the large format focal plane array instruments necessary to conduct the next generation of cosmic microwave background (CMB), star formation, and galaxy evolution studies. In addition, non-linear kinetic inductance can be exploited to develop traveling wave kinetic inductance parametric amplifiers (TKIPs) based on superconducting delay lines to read out these instruments.

I present my contributions to both large and small scale collaborative efforts to develop KID arrays, spectrometers integrated with KIDs, and TKIPs. I optimize a dual polarization TiN KID absorber for the next generation Balloon-borne Large Aperture Submillimeter Telescope for Polarimetry, which is designed to investigate the role magnetic fields play in star formation. As part of an effort to demonstrate aluminum KIDs on sky for CMB polarimetry, I fabricate devices for three design variants. SuperSpec and WSpec are respectively the on-chip and waveguide implementations of a filter bank spectrometer concept designed for survey spectroscopy of high redshift galaxies. I provide a robust tool for characterizing the performance of all SuperSpec devices and demonstrate basic functionality of the first WSpec prototype. As part of an effort to develop the first W-Band (75-110 GHz) TKIP, I construct a cryogenic waveguide feedthrough, which enhances the Astronomical Instrumentation Laboratory’s capability to test W-Band devices in general. These efforts contribute to the continued maturation of these kinetic inductance technologies, which will usher in a new era of millimeter-wave astronomy.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2018