Development of ultrathin niobium nitride and niobium titanium nitride films for THz hot-electron bolometers

Kategorien: Radioastronomie


The main focus of this work is the development of ultrathin NbN and NbTiN films. A reproducible and reliable deposition process for ultrathin NbN and NbTiN films for the use in phonon-cooled HEB devices was established. The ultrathin films were deposited on silicon (Si) substrates and on 2æm Si3N4 membranes by DC reactive magnetron sputtering. A method for the precise control of the nitrogen partial pressure by monitoring the target voltage has been introduced to deposit high quality, ultrathin NbN (3-4nm, Tc=8.5 K) and NbTiN (4-5nm, Tc=8K) films. Substrate heating of at least 600ʿC during the deposition is essential for the fabrication of ultrathin NbN and NbTiN films on Si substrates and Si3N4 membranes. The fabrication process required for HEB devices to be used in a quasi-optical mixer was developed. The ultrathin film was patterned by electron beam lithography (EBL), resulting in bolometer devices that measure areas of about 0.4 æm x 4 æm. The nature of the contact determines the interface transparency between the bolometer and the contact structure. Different cleaning processes have been performed and the influence on the contact resistance has been instigated. A better interface transparency gives less RF losses and could improve the HEB sensitivity and local oscillator (LO) requirement ...
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