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Broadband Josephson Voltage Standards



Clark A. Hamilton, Samuel P. Benz


A Josephson junction is a perfect frequency to voltage converter, that is, V=f/Kj where Kj = 483597.9 GHz/V. This unique property has been used to convert a narrow (1 Hz) band 75 GHz reference frequency to a dc voltage standard. Josephson standards use arrays of thousands of junctions to raise the voltage to 10 V. During the last 30 years metrologists have reduced the uncertainty in dc voltage among national measurement institutes by 3 orders of magnitude to a level of about 1 part in 100. More recently, the broadband capability of Josephson devices is being exploited at NIST to create a new ac voltage standard. In this case, the Josephson junction is modeled as a pulse generator that can be triggered at frequencies fro dc to 30 GHz, and that produces short (~50 ps) voltage pulses with a time integral of exactly 1/Kj. A delta-sigma algorithm with a high oversampling ratio is used to define a digital pulse sequence for any desired output waveform. The sequence is programmed into a digital code generator that triggers the Josephson device. The result is a replication of the desired waveform with a time-dependent amplitude that is exactly calculabel from a knowledge of the pulse code, the sampling frequency, and the number of Josephson junctions in the array. The talk will summarize progress to date on this new ac voltage standard.
Proceedings Title
Tech. Dig., IEEE MTT-S International Microwave Symposium
Conference Dates
May 20-25, 2001
Conference Location
Phoenix, AZ
Conference Title
IEEE MTT-S International Microwave Symposium


broadband, digital-to-analog converter, frequency, Josephson junction, quantization, voltage standard


Hamilton, C. and Benz, S. (2001), Broadband Josephson Voltage Standards, Tech. Dig., IEEE MTT-S International Microwave Symposium, Phoenix, AZ, [online], (Accessed July 22, 2024)


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Created May 20, 2001, Updated January 27, 2020