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Basics of Microwave Measurements

Steven Anlage

http://www.cnam.umd.edu/anlage/AnlageMicrowaveMeasurements.htm

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Electrical Signals at Low and High Frequencies

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Transmission Lines
Transmission lines carry microwave signals from one point to another
They are important because the wavelength is much smaller than the length of typical T-lines
used in the lab
You have to look at them as distributed circuits, rather than lumped circuits

The wave equations

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Transmission Lines
Wave Speed Take the ratio of the voltage and current waves
at any given point in the transmission line:

= Z0

The characteristic impedance Z0 of the T-line

Reflections from a terminated transmission line

Vleft b Z L  Z0
Reflection   
Z0 ZL coefficient Vright a Z L  Z0

Open Circuit ZL = ∞,  = 1 ei0


Some interesting special cases: Short Circuit ZL = 0,  = 1 eip
Perfect Load ZL = Z0,  = 0 ei?
These are used in error correction measurements to characterize non-ideal T-lines
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Transmission Lines and Their Characteristic Impedances

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Transmission Lines, continued
The power absorbed in a termination is:

Model of a realistic transmission line including loss

Shunt
Conductance

Traveling
Wave with
solutions

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How Much Power Reaches the Load?

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The Need for Care with SMA Connectors

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Microwave Connectors
Connector Name Bandwidth (GHz) “Compatible” with Found in
1 mm 110
V (1.85 mm) 60 2.4 mm Corbino expt.
2.4 mm 60 V PNA
K (2.92 mm) 40 3.5 mm*, SMA* BlueFors fridge
3.5 mm 26.5 K, SMA* PNA
SMA 18 or 25 3.5 mm, K All over…
* Means “mates with damage”
See https://www.microwaves101.com/encyclopedias/microwave-connectors#overview

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Waveguides

Rectangular metallic waveguide

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Network Analysis

Assumes linearity!

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N-Port Description of an Arbitrary Enclosure
V1 V1 , I1
N Ports V1
 Voltages and Currents,
N – Port
 Incoming and Outgoing Waves
System

VN VN , IN
V N
S matrix Z matrix
V 1  V 1  V1   I1  S  ( Z  Z 0 ) 1 ( Z  Z 0 )
      V  I 
 2
V V 2   2  2
Z ( ), S ( )
         Complicated
   [S ]       [ ]    Functions of
       
       
frequency
         Detail Specific
V N 

V N 

VN   I N  (Non-Universal)
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Linear vs. Nonlinear Behavior

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Network vs. Spectrum Analysis

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Resonator Measurements
Traditional Electrodynamics Measurements
input output

Microwave sample rf currents


~ microwave
Resonator
wavelength B Hrf
Cavity
l inhomogeneities
Perturbation
Sample
These measurements
transmission average the properties
T1 T2 over the entire sample
Quality Factor
Q = Estored/Edissip.
Q = f0 / df
df
df’

frequency
f0 f0’ Df = f0’ – f0  D(Stored Energy)
D(1/2Q)  D(Dissipated Energy)
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Electric and Magnetic Perturbations
Electric Field Pert. Magnetic Field Pert.
E E
Sample
Sample
B B
e1 - i e2 m1 + i m2
s, r/t s, r/t
Rs + i Xs Rs + i Xs

Varying capacitance (e1) and


inductance (m1) change the stored
energy and resonant frequency Df

Varying sample losses (r/t,


tand  e2/e1, m2) change the quality
factor (Q) of the microscope

Df = f0’ – f0  D(Stored Energy)


D(1/2Q)  D(Dissipated Energy)
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The Variable-Spacing Parallel Plate Resonator

Vary s
s: contact –
~ 100 mm
in steps of 
10 nm to 1 mm Brf
Principle of Operation: Measure the resonant frequency, f0, and the
quality factor, Q, of the VSPPR versus the continuously variable
thickness of the dielectric spacer (s), and to fit them to theoretical forms
in order to extract the absolute values of l and Rs.

The measurements are performed at a fixed temperature


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In our experiments L, w ~ 1 cm
The VSPPR Experiment

Films held and aligned by two sets


of perpendicular sapphire pins

Dielectric spacer thickness (s)


measured with capacitance meter

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VSPPR: Theory of Operation
Superconducting samples
Resonant Frequency Quality Factor
f 0, PC 1 1 1 1 1
f 0,SC    
1  2leff / s 1  s QSC Q Qd Qrad
SC Trans. fringe
effect *
line resonator 1 Reff f SC
  tan d  s
f 0, PC 
c QSC pm0 f ( s  2leff ) f
* *

2L e r
2
*  f 0 , SC 
leff  l coth( d / l ) Reff  Reff  *  f* is a reference frequency
 f 

1  
 2 

  1/ L
 0.423  ln
pL   sf m e  
 0 0 

Assumes: 2 identical and uniform films, local electrodynamics, Rs(f) ~ f2


V. V. Talanov, et al., Rev. Sci. Instrum. 71, 2136 (2000)
19 US Patent # 6,366,096
High-Tc Superconducting Thin Films at 77 K

750nm-YBCO/LAO
1200
VSPPR, T=77 K

Resonant Frequency (GHz)


12.4
LN2 dielectric spacer
1000
12.2
800

Q-factor
12.0
600
11.8
400
11.6
200
11.4
0
0 20 40 60 80 100
Dielectric Spacer Thickness ( m m)

Mutual Inductance Measurements


l fit: 257 ± 25 nm
(l1+l2)/2 = 300 ± 15 nm
Rs fit: 200 ± 20 m @ f* = 10 GHz

L = 9.98 mm, w = 9.01 mm, film thickness d = 760 ± 30 nm, Tc = 92.4 K


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