TUNABLE NONLINEAR SUPERCONDUCTING METAMATERIALS: EXPERIMENT AND SIMULATION
Anlage, Steven M
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I present experimental and numerical simulation results for two types of nonlinear tunable superconducting metamaterials: 2D arrays of rf SQUIDs (radio frequency superconducting quantum interference devices) as magnetic metamaterials and arrays of Josephson junction-loaded wires as electric metamaterials. The effective inductance of a Josephson junction is sensitive to dc current, temperature, and rf current. I took advantage of this property to design arrays of Josephson junction-loaded wires that present a tunable cutoff frequency and thus a tunable effective permittivity for propagating electromagnetic waves in a one-conductor waveguide. I measured the response of the metamaterial to each tuning parameter and found agreement with numerical simulations that employ the RCSJ (resistively and capacitively shunted junction) model. An rf SQUID is an analogue of an SRR (split ring resonator) with the gap capacitance replaced with a Josephson junction. Like the SRR the SQUID is a resonant structure with a frequency-dependent effective permeability. The difference between the SQUID and the SRR is that the effective inductance and thus effective permeability of the SQUID can be tuned with dc and rf flux, and temperature. Individual rf SQUID meta-atoms and two-dimensional arrays were designed and measured as a function of each tuning parameter and I have found excellent agreement with numerical simulations. There is also an interesting transparency feature that occurs for intermediate rf flux values. The tuning of SQUID arrays has a similar character to the tuning of individual rf SQUID meta-atoms. However, I found that the coupling between the SQUIDs increases the resonant frequency, decreases dc flux tuning, and introduces additional resonant modes. Another feature of arrays is disorder which suppresses the coherence of the response and negatively impacts the emergent properties of the metamaterial. The disorder was experimentally found to be mainly due to a dc flux gradient across the metamaterial. I investigated methods to recover the coherence, specifically by varying the coupling between the SQUID meta-atoms, increasing the amplitude of the applied rf flux, and increasing temperature. In this thesis I successfully demonstrate both electric and magnetic tunable superconducting metamaterials based on the Josephson effect. The tuning of these metamaterials occurs over a larger range, on faster time scales, and with lower losses than previous tunable metamaterials.