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Aqueous blackbody calibration source for millimeter-wave/terahertz metrology



Charles Dietlein, Zoya Popovic, Erich N. Grossman


This paper describes a calibrated broadband emitter for the millimeter-wave through terahertz frequency regime, called the aqueous blackbody calibration source. Due to its extremely high absorption, liquid water is chosen as the emitter on the basis of reciprocity. The water is constrained to a specific shape (an optical trap geometry) in an expanded polystyrene (EPS) container and maintained at a selected, uniform temperature. Uncertainty in the selected radiometric temperature due to the undesirable reflectance present at a water interface is minimized by the trap geometry, ensuring that radiation incident on the entrance aperture encounters a pair of p relections at 45 degrees. For water reflectance Rw of 40% at 45 degrees in the W-band, this implies a theoretical effective aperture emissivity of (1-R2wsR2wp) > 98.8%. From the W-band to 450 GHz, the maximum radiometric temperature uncertainty is ±0.40 K, independent of water temperature. Uncertainty from 450 GHz to 1 THz is increased due to EPS scattering and absorption, resulting in a maximum uncertainty of -3 K at 1 THz.
Applied Optics


blackbody, calibration, metrology, source, terahertz


Dietlein, C. , Popovic, Z. and Grossman, E. (2008), Aqueous blackbody calibration source for millimeter-wave/terahertz metrology, Applied Optics, [online], (Accessed July 16, 2024)


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Created October 20, 2008, Updated February 19, 2017