Magnetic background field-tolerant SQIF-based current sensors
in: Superconductor Science & Technology (2021)
We report on the development of magnetic background field-tolerant superconducting quantum interference filter (SQIF) based on low-capacitance sub-micrometer sized cross-type Josephson junctions either as current sensing amplifiers—even on chip—for advanced superconducting quantum interference device (SQUID) readout circuits or as magnetic field sensor in flux transformer configuration especially for geophysical measurement systems. Their very small parasitic magnetic sensitive areas enable them to operate in the Earth magnetic field and allow for magnetically unshielded cool-down. The careful consideration of magnetic sensitive areas inside each SQUID in the SQIF in all three dimensions result in developed SQIFs with 28 SQUIDs in series exhibiting large voltage swing and transfer function of more than 2 mV and 500 V A−1, respectively. We report on the electrical parameters and field stability as well as on the noise performance of the devices under investigation. SQIFs and devices with additional on-chip flux-transformers show input referred current noise levels of 5.9 and 1.1 pA Hz−1/2, respectively. We furthermore demonstrate their potential as SQIF-based magnetometers using them in addition with thin-film pickup loops resulting in a white magnetic field noise of 1.6 f T Hz−1/2. The implemented SQIFs are thus highly compatible with state-of-the-art single SQUID-devices offering beneficial features such as a unique working point, making them excellent suited for implementation of e.g. geophysical instruments.