We have extended the application of quantum-based electrical standards from single frequency calibrations to multi-tone tests that can be used to characterize the nonlinear behavior of electronic components and circuits. Specifically, we have used a Josephson arbitrary waveform synthesizer to generate highly accurate, two-tone waveforms having center frequencies ranging from 10 kHz to 1 MHz. These waveforms have unprecedented spectral purity because they are constructed from perfectly quantized voltage pulses. Using this measurement system, we have characterized the intermodulation distortion properties of a highly linear amplifier used in metrological applications. Additionally, we have shown that these test signals can be upconverted to microwave frequencies, so that they may be used to characterize the nonlinearities of RF and microwave components.
Citation: IEEE Transactions on Applied Superconductivity
Pub Type: Journals
Intermodulation distortion, harmonic distortion, signal generators, Josephson arrays, digital-to-analog converter, waveform synthesis, nonlinear