An On-Chip Mach-Zehnder Interferometer in the Microwave Regime
Journal article, 2011
The design, simulation and measurements of an on-chip Mach-Zehnder interferometer operating in the microwave regime are described. Using microwave signals in microfabricated superconducting Al waveguides, the concept of an interferometer is transferred from optics to on-chip. Tuning of the path length of one of the interferometer arms is executed through the tunable inductance of a SQUID. By placing one or more SQUIDs in the waveguide structure and by varying the magnetic flux through the SQUID loop, the total SQUID inductance can be tuned. In this way, a phase difference leading to destructive or constructive interference at the interferometer output can be achieved. Thorough software simulations were performed to determine the different design parameters, assign a desired working frequency and provide a reference for comparison with experimental results. Measurements at 300 mK show an effective working frequency close to the simulations, with a deviation smaller than 0.05 GHz. The behavior of the interferometer is very similar to the simulations as well. The on-off ratio exceeds 40 dB.