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Impact of the New Generation of Josephson Voltage Standards in ac and dc Electric Metrology



Alain Rufenacht, Nathan E. Flowers-Jacobs, Samuel P. Benz


For decades, the quantum behavior of Josephson junctions has been developed and employed as intrinsic standards for voltage metrology. Conventional dc Josephson voltage standards have been the primary standards for voltage, programmable Josephson voltage standards have been implemented in calibration services and precision measurements like Planck’s constant, and Josephson arbitrary waveform synthesizers have been employed in ac voltage calibrations and precision measurements of Boltzmann’s constant. With the anticipated redefinition of the International System of Units (SI), all types of Josephson voltage standards will become intrinsic standards and equivalent realizations of the unit volt. Here we review the state-of-the art performance, best practices and current impact of these systems for various applications, with an implicit emphasis on ac voltage metrology. We also explain the limitations of each system, especially regarding the many potential systematic errors that impact their accuracy and performance for specific applications.


digital-to-analog conversion, Josephson junction arrays, measurement standards, signal synthesis, superconducting integrated circuits, voltage measurement


Rufenacht, A. , Flowers-Jacobs, N. and Benz, S. (2018), Impact of the New Generation of Josephson Voltage Standards in ac and dc Electric Metrology, Metrologia, [online], (Accessed April 18, 2024)
Created August 24, 2018, Updated November 10, 2018