Superconductivity is a phenomenon occurring in certain materials generally at very low temperatures, characterized by exactly zero electrical resistance and the exclusion of the interior magnetic field (the Meissner effect). It was discovered by Heike Kamerlingh Onnes in 1911. Applying the principle of Superconductivity in microwave and millimeter-wave (mm-wave) regions, components with superior performance can be fabricated. Major problem during the earlier days was the that the cryogenic burden has been perceived as too great compared to the performance advantage that could be realized. There were very specialized applications, such as low-noise microwave and mm-wave mixers and detectors, for the highly demanding radio astronomy applications where the performance gained was worth the effort and complexity. With the discovery of high temperature superconductors like copper oxide, rapid progress was made in the field of microwave superconductivity.
This topic describes the properties of superconductivity that can be exploited in microwave and mm-wave technologies to yield components with appreciable performance enhancement over conventional systems. Superconducting signal transmission lines can yield low attenuation, zero-dispersion signal transmission behavior for signals with frequency components less than about one tenth the superconducting energy gap. No other known microwave device technology can provide a similar behavior. Superconductors have also been used to make high speed digital circuits, josephsons junction and RF and microwave filters for mobile phone base stations.Recommend this topic