We propose the use of superconducting quantum well structures for use as detectors of submillimeter wave radiation. The energy levels formed due to quantum confinement by superconducting barriers provide a useful system for radiation sensing. The well width could be readily altered by varying the temperature or the strength of an applied magnetic field so that the levels can be shifted in energy. This provides a means of tuning the detector over a range of frequencies in the terahertz range, enabling both photometric and spectroscopic observations. Also, the structure of the device should permit use of cofabricated antennas allowing efficient radiation coupling into the active region of the device. The geometry also allows the possibility of implementing one- and two-dimensional arrays.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)