Low noise kinetic inductance traveling-wave amplifier using three-wave mixing
Michael R. Vissers, Robert P. Erickson, Leila R. Vale, Xian Wu, Gene C. Hilton, David P. Pappas
We have fabricated a wide-bandwidth, high dynamic range, low noise cryogenic amplifier based on a superconducting kinetic inductance traveling-wave device. The device was made from NbTiN and consisted of a long, coplanar waveguide on a silicon chip. By adding a DC current and an RF pump tone we are able to generate parametric amplification using three-wave mixing. The devices exhibit gain of more than 15 dB across an instantaneous bandwidth from 4 - 8 GHz. The total usable gain bandwidth, including both sides of the signal-idler gain region, is more than 6 GHz. The noise referred to the input of the devices approaches the quantum limit, with less than 1 photon excess noise. Compared to similarly constructed four-wave mixing amplifiers, these devices operate with the RF pump at ~20 dB lower power and at frequencies far from the signal. This will permit easier integration into large scale qubit and detector applications.