Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.

Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock ( ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

A Self-Attenuating Superconducting Transmission Line for Use as a Microwave Power Limiter



James Booth, David A. Rudman, Ronald H. Ono


We have designed, fabricated, and tested a microwave power limiter based on high temperature superconductor thin film technology. The signal limiter takes the form of a 50 Ohm} coplanar waveguide transmission line that is reversibly driven from the low-loss superconducting state to the high-loss normal state when the microwave currents within the device exceed a critical value. When operated at 70 K, the signal limiter displays very low insertion loss in the non-limiting state (<0.1 dB at 40 GHz), and extremely wide bandwidth (>40 GHz), with constant impedance over the entire microwave range. The maximum power transmitted by the device can be engineered by varying the transmission line dimensions, and can be further tuned once the device has been fabricated by varying the operating temperature. In the over-power state the device continues to pass a portion of the incident signal, although with reduced linearity. Switching times for the signal limiter are estimated to be on the order of microseconds or faster, based on both pulsed rf measurements and on measurements using a periodic amplitude modulated drive signal. We expect this device to be useful for protecting high-performance receiver circuits from over-power conditions without limiting the dynamic range or bandwidth of these devices.
IEEE Transactions on Applied Superconductivity


high temperature superconductor, microwave power limiter, YBCO thin film


Booth, J. , Rudman, D. and Ono, R. (2003), A Self-Attenuating Superconducting Transmission Line for Use as a Microwave Power Limiter, IEEE Transactions on Applied Superconductivity (Accessed May 29, 2024)


If you have any questions about this publication or are having problems accessing it, please contact

Created May 31, 2003, Updated October 12, 2021