Superconducting Microwave Filters
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Superconducting microelectronics (SME) technology has the potential of realizing very high speed digital receivers capable of performing direct digitization of radio frequency signals with very low power consumption. The SME receiver is implemented on a single chip using Niobium based low temperature superconductive (LTS) Josephson Junction (JJ) technology by HYPRES. Analogue RF filters are still required at the receiver front end and are key components of the overall superconductor digital receiver. SME receivers usually require two types of RF filters; a wideband bandpass filter and a bandstop filter (a notch filter). The notch filter is required to eliminate interference and unwanted signals in the passband. In this thesis, design of highly miniaturized lumped element wideband and bandstop filters is investigated and some challenges are addressed. The filters are fabricated by the HYPRES process and therefore can be integrated with the SME receiver on the same chip. In a wideband filter, the coupling between the adjacent resonators is high. Achieving such a strong coupling is one of the challenges of designing wideband filters. The wideband filters realized with distributed elements usually suffer from very low spurious frequency. As the bandwidth of the filter becomes wider, the spurious peak of the second harmonic gets closer to the passband of the filter. In the first part of this work, the possibility of realizing lumped element superconducting bandpass filters (BPF) with a relative bandwidth of 80% is investigated. In the second part of the thesis, design and realization of lumped element superconducting bandstop filters (BSF) is discussed. The challenge for designing a bandstop filter is providing a good match over a wide frequency range. So narrowband inverters cannot be used. Instead, usually λ/4 matched transmission lines provide 90° phase shift between the resonators of a notch filter. The possibility of replacing the long transmission line with other means or eliminating the inverters and using both shunt and series resonators are investigated. Having both series and shunt resonators introduces some new challenges that are addressed in the thesis and discussed thoroughly. A tunable notch resonator is presented. The tunability is provided by a superconducting MEMS varactor that is realized in our group by doing some post processing on the device fabricated by HYPRES. The tunability range of the device at cryogenic temperatures is investigated. A 3-pole tunable BSF is also designed that uses the same tunable resonators. The tunability of the filter is investigated through simulation.
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