The crossover between the electron–phonon relaxation and the diffusion transport of hot electrons in an NbC microbolometer has been studied. At least an 80 ps relaxation time can be achieved in 0.2 μm long bridges of the material with a diffusivity of 8 cm2/s. The high diffusivity is accompanied by a large sheet resistance (≊10 Ω) that simplifies the match of the mixer device made of NbC to planar antenna at terahertz frequencies. The intrinsic noise mechanisms imply a very low mixer noise temperature of the order of a few tens of Kelvin, independent on the radiation frequency.

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