The fundamental noise limit of a phase-preserving amplifier at frequency is the standard quantum limit. In the microwave range, the best candidates have been amplifiers based on superconducting quantum interference devices (reaching the noise temperature at 700 MHz), and non-degenerate parametric amplifiers (reaching noise levels close to the quantum limit at 8 GHz). We introduce a new type of an amplifier based on the negative resistance of a selectively damped Josephson junction. Noise performance of our amplifier is limited by mixing of quantum noise from Josephson oscillation regime down to the signal frequency. Measurements yield nearly quantum-limited operation, at 2.8 GHz, owing to self-organization of the working point. Simulations describe the characteristics of our device well and indicate potential for wide bandwidth operation.
- Applied physics
- electronic materials and devices
- quantum physics
- superconducting materials