A near-field scanning microwave microscope based on a superconducting resonator for low power measurements
Journal article, 2013

We report on the design and performance of a cryogenic (300 mK) near-field scanning microwave microscope. It uses a microwave resonator as the near-field sensor, operating at a frequency of 6 GHz and microwave probing amplitudes down to 100 μV, approaching low enough photon population (N ∼ 1000) of the resonator such that coherent quantum manipulation becomes feasible. The resonator is made out of a miniaturized distributed fractal superconducting circuit that is integrated with the probing tip, micromachined to be compact enough such that it can be mounted directly on a quartz tuning-fork, and used for parallel operation as an atomic force microscope (AFM). The resonator is magnetically coupled to a transmission line for readout, and to achieve enhanced sensitivity we employ a Pound-Drever-Hall measurement scheme to lock to the resonance frequency. We achieve a well localized near-field around the tip such that the microwave resolution is comparable to the AFM resolution, and a capacitive sensitivity down to 6.4 × 10−20 F/rtHz, limited by mechanical noise. We believe that the results presented here are a significant step towards probing quantum systems at the nanoscale using near-field scanning microwave microscopy.

quantum optics

superconducting resonators

near-field scanning optical microscopy

atomic force microscopy

microwave resonators


Sebastian Erik de Graaf

Chalmers, Microtechnology and Nanoscience (MC2), Quantum Device Physics

Andrey Danilov

Chalmers, Microtechnology and Nanoscience (MC2), Quantum Device Physics

Astghik Adamyan

Chalmers, Microtechnology and Nanoscience (MC2), Quantum Device Physics

Sergey Kubatkin

Chalmers, Microtechnology and Nanoscience (MC2), Quantum Device Physics

Review of Scientific Instruments

0034-6748 (ISSN)

Vol. 84 2 023706-

Areas of Advance

Nanoscience and Nanotechnology (2010-2017)

Subject Categories

Nano Technology

Condensed Matter Physics


Nanofabrication Laboratory



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