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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.
Applied Physics Letters


superconducting, amplifier, kinetic inductance, traveling wave, frequency dispersion, three- wave mixing, four-wave mixing, RF, microwave
Created October 1, 2015, Updated February 19, 2017