A SCANNING SQUID MICROSCOPE FOR IMAGING HIGH-FREQUENCY MAGNETIC FIELDS
Vlahacos, Constantine Peter
Wellstood, Frederick C.
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This thesis examines the design and operation of a large-bandwidth scanning SQUID microscope for spatially imaging high frequency magnetic fields. Towards this end, I present results on a cryo-cooled 4.2 K scanning SQUID microscope with a bandwidth of dc to 2 GHz and a sensitivity of about 52.4 nT per sample. By using a thin-film hysteretic Nb dc-SQUID and a pulsed sampling technique, rather than a non-hysteretic SQUID and a flux-locked loop, the bandwidth limitation of existing scanning SQUID microscopes is overcome. The microscope allows for non-contact images of time-varying magnetic field to be taken of room-temperature samples with time steps down to 50 ps and spatial resolution ultimately limited by the size of the SQUID to about 10 micrometers. The new readout scheme involves repeatedly pulsing the bias current to the dc SQUID while the voltage across the SQUID is monitored. Using a fixed pulse amplitude and applying a fixed dc magnetic flux allows the SQUID to measure the applied magnetic flux with a sampling time set by the pulse length of about 400 ps. To demonstrate the capabilities of the microscope, I imaged magnetic fields from 0 Hz (static fields) up to 4 GHz. Samples included a magnetic loop, microstrip transmission lines, and microstrip lines with a break in order to identify and isolate electrical opens in circuits. Finally, I discuss the operation and modeling of the SQUID and how to further increase the bandwidth of the microscope to allow bandwidth of upwards of 10 GHz.