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Design and Characterization of a Superconducting Nonlinear Reference Device



James Booth, Kenneth Leong, Susan A. Schima, Jeffrey Jargon, Donald C. DeGroot


Abstract ' We describe the design, fabrication, and testing of a nonlinear reference device that has a calculable phase relationship between the fundamental signal and higher harmonic signals in the microwave range. Such a device would be useful for calibrating the phase of nonlinear vector network analyzers, and would aid in the development of nonlinear network modeling methods by providing a device-under-test with a calculable nonlinear response in both magnitude and phase. Our device designs are based on the intrinsic nonlinearity present in high temperature superconducting materials, which is believed to be generated primarily by a current-dependent surface inductance. Microwave power-dependent measurements of coplanar waveguide (CPW) resonators fabricated from these materials yielded the resistance and inductance per unit length as a function of rf current, which allowed for the calculation of the magnitude and phase of higher harmonics generated in CPW transmission lines of the same cross-sectional geometry. We measured both the magnitude and the phase of third-harmonic signals generated in CPW transmission lines using a nonlinear vector network analyzer, and demonstrated good agreement between the measured nonlinear response and predictions based on our power-dependent resonator experiments for third harmonic frequencies up to 18 GHz.
Conference Dates
December 2-5, 2003
Conference Location
Boulder, CO, USA
Conference Title
62nd ARFTG (Automatic Radio Frequency Techniques Group) Microwave Measurements Conference


high-temperature superconductor, nonlinear microwave, transmission line device


Booth, J. , Leong, K. , Schima, S. , Jargon, J. and DeGroot, D. (2003), Design and Characterization of a Superconducting Nonlinear Reference Device, 62nd ARFTG (Automatic Radio Frequency Techniques Group) Microwave Measurements Conference, Boulder, CO, USA (Accessed May 21, 2024)


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Created December 4, 2003, Updated October 12, 2021