Experimental Study of Frequency Multiplication in a Distributed Array of SIS Junctions
Journal article, 2014
We report the first experimental off-chip detection of frequency multiplication in a distributed array of superconductor–insulator–superconductor (SIS) junctions. A test device consisting of series array of 68 Nb/Al-AlOx/Nb tunnel junctions was designed to study generation of the second harmonic in the 190–210 GHz band. The SIS array was exited with microwave radiation at 3-mm band using a quasi-optically coupled Gunn oscillator, and the output response of the device was studied using a double-sideband SIS mixer operating in the 163–211 GHz range with 4–8 GHz IF bandwidth. We measured extremely sharp spectral signals, associated with the $times 2$ frequency multiplication by the SIS array. Single and multi-photon processes were observed in the response of SIS tunnel junction-array to the applied microwave radiation, confirming device operation in the quantum mode. The output power of the multiplied signal increases linearly with the power of the pumping signal up to certain level and them saturates. In attempt to verify that the device produces noticeable power, the output of the test device was connected to the LO port of the SIS mixer, and an increase of 10%–20% in the SIS mixer dark current was observed. Further development of the demonstrated principle of frequency multiplication may lead to a practical frequency multiplier device.