Detection and Mixing Properties of an InSb Metal-Semiconductor Point Contact Diode

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We present preliminary data on the performance of a new fast photodetector based on a W–InSb metal-insulator-semiconductor point contact diode operating at room temperature and with no bias voltage. The device can work either as a video detector or as harmonic mixer for radiation from far–infrared (FIR) to visible. In the FIR region, for wavelengths from 200 to 400 μm, the W–InSb point contact diode showed a sensitivity comparable to that of Golay cells. In the visible region the device showed a video and heterodyne detection responsivity much higher with respect to standard M.I.M. point contact diodes. Owing to its ruggedness, low cost and wide band of operation, the W–InSb point contact diode may be very attractive as a general purpose optical sensor.