Superconductive Digital Magnetometers with Single-Flux-Quantum Electronics

Pascal FEBVRE  Torsten REICH  

IEICE TRANSACTIONS on Electronics   Vol.E93-C   No.4   pp.445-452
Publication Date: 2010/04/01
Online ISSN: 1745-1353
DOI: 10.1587/transele.E93.C.445
Print ISSN: 0916-8516
Type of Manuscript: INVITED PAPER (Special Section on Frontiers of Superconductive Electronics)
SQUID,  SFQ,  RSFQ,  Single-Flux-Quantum,  Rapid Single-Flux-Quantum,  digital SQUID,  magnetometer,  superconducting electronics,  superconducting digital electronics,  

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Superconducting Quantum Interference Devices (SQUIDs) are known to be the most sensitive magnetometers, used in a wide range of applications like biomagnetism, geomagnetism, Non Destructive Evaluation (NDE), metrology or fundamental science. For all these applications, the SQUID sensor is used in analog mode and associated with a carefully designed room-temperature control and/or feedback electronics. Nevertheless, the use of SQUID sensors in digital mode is of high interest for several applications due to their quantum accuracy associated to high linearity, and their potentially very high slew rate and dynamic range. The concept and performances of a low-Tc digital magnetometer based on Single-Flux-Quantum (SFQ) logic, fabricated at the FLUXONICS Foundry located at IPHT Jena, Germany, are given after a presentation of the context of development of superconductive digital magnetometers. The sensitivity, limited to one magnetic single flux quantum, and a dynamic range of 76 dB, that corresponds to an upper limit of the magnetic field amplitude higher than 5 µT, have been measured along with overnight stability. The dynamic range of about 2800 magnetic flux quanta Φ0 has been experimentally observed with an external magnetic field. First signatures of magnetic fields have been observed simultaneously with the ones of analog SQUIDs in the low noise environment of the Laboratoire Souterrain a Bas Bruit (LSBB) located in Rustrel, Provence, France.