Quantum Nanostructures and
Nanofabrication Group

Prof. Karl K. Berggren and Dr. P. Donald Keathley

New Publication “Frequency Pulling and Mixing of Relaxation Oscillations in Superconducting Nanowires”

Many superconducting technologies such as rapid single-flux quantum computing and superconducting quantum-interference devices rely on the modulation of nonlinear dynamics in Josephson junctions for functionality. More recently, however, superconducting devices have been developed based on the switching and thermal heating of nanowires for use in fields such as single-photon detection and digital logic. In this paper, we use resistive shunting to control the nonlinear heating of a superconducting nanowire and compare the resulting dynamics to those observed in Josephson junctions. We show that interaction of the hotspot-impedance with an external shunt produces high-frequency relaxation oscillations with similar behavior to that observed in Josephson junctions due to their ability to be modulated by a weak periodic signal. In particular, we use a microwave drive to pull and mix the oscillation frequency, resulting in phase-locked features that resemble the Shapiro steps observed in the ac Josephson effect. Microwave nanowire devices based on these conclusions have promising applications in fields such as parametric amplification and frequency mixing.

A complete description of the work may be found here.


Emily Toomey, Qing-Yuan Zhao, Adam N. McCaughan, Karl K. Berggren. “Frequency pulling and mixing of relaxation oscillations in superconducting nanowires” Physical Review Applied 9, 6 (2018)