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Cryogenic Characterization of a Superconductor Quantum-Based Microwave Reference Source for Communications and Quantum Information



Alirio De Jesus Soares Boaventura, Justus Brevik, Dylan Williams, Nathan Flowers-Jacobs, Manuel Castellanos Beltran, Anna Fox, Pete Hopkins, Paul Dresselhaus, Samuel P. Benz


We are developing a new instrument, the RF Josephson arbitrary waveform synthesizer (RF-JAWS), for communications metrology and quantum information applications. An important aspect of the RF-JAWS design is the accurate and traceable characterization of its superconducting devices. In this article, we present a procedure for characterizing microwave superconducting devices in a cryogenic RF probe station via a vector network analyzer (VNA) calibrated with a custom cryogenic calibration kit colocated with the superconducting device under test (DUT) in the cryogenic environment. By de-embedding lossy and dispersive RF interconnects linking the superconducting DUT to the measurement apparatus at room temperature, we characterize the DUT exactly at the cryogenic on-wafer reference plane. More importantly, we operate our VNA with an external modulated source and our procedure features metrology-grade multiline thru-reflect-line calibration and absolute power and phase corrections, as opposed to the more common relative scattering-parameter correction. In addition, we apply an X -parameter model to account for impedance mismatch in cryogenic Josephson microwave sources. Our techniques are also suitable for cryogenic characterization of microwave superconducting devices for solid-state quantum computers and could help to optimize the quantum-classical interfaces in these systems.
IEEE Transactions on Applied Superconductivity


superconductive circuits, cryogenic microwave measurements, TRL calibration, Josephson arbitrary waveform synthesizer, quantum voltage standard, X-parameter model


Soares Boaventura, A. , Brevik, J. , Williams, D. , Flowers-Jacobs, N. , Castellanos Beltran, M. , Fox, A. , Hopkins, P. , Dresselhaus, P. and Benz, S. (2021), Cryogenic Characterization of a Superconductor Quantum-Based Microwave Reference Source for Communications and Quantum Information, IEEE Transactions on Applied Superconductivity, [online],, (Accessed June 29, 2022)
Created October 13, 2021, Updated February 23, 2022