Electronic Nonlinearity in Superconducting Resonator Devices

Student Author(s)

Alexander Medema

Faculty Mentor(s)

Dr. Stephen Remillard, Physics

Document Type


Event Date



Superconducting resonators play an integral role as circuit elements in the microwave filters that are used in wireless applications, primarily for base stations in cellular networks. Compared to their conventional counterparts, superconducting resonators in these systems greatly reduce signal loss and improve the frequency response shape factor. However, superconducting materials can degrade certain device performance metrics. Nonlinearity evident in intermodulation distortion (IMD) produces spurious signals that conventional microwave filters would not produce. At Hope College, a test system has been constructed to characterize these nonlinearities. Four main points of focus take precedent in this work: the high-power saturation of IMD, the influence of probe power on saturation, the distinction between saturation in second and third order IMD nonlinearities, and the influence of temperature on saturation, especially near the superconductor critical point. In this paper, saturation of second and third order nonlinearities will be presented. Second and third order IMD nonlinearities are found to possess different saturation characteristics, indicating that different mechanisms are responsible for different orders of nonlinearity.


This material is based in part upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Award Number DMR-1505617.

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