Flicker (1/f) noise in tunnel junction dc SQUIDS

Roger H. Koch, John Clarke, W. M. Goubau, J. M. Martinis, C. M. Pegrum, D. J. van Harlingen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We have measured the spectral density of the 1/f voltage noise in current-biased resistively shunted Josephson tunnel junctions and dc SQUIDs. A theory in which fluctuations in the temperature give rise to fluctuations in the critical current and hence in the voltage predicts the magnitude of the noise quite accurately for junctions with areas of about 2 × 104 μm2, but significantly overestimates the noise for junctions with areas of about 6 μm2. DC SQUIDs fabricated from these two types of junctions exhibit substantially more 1/f voltage noise than would be predicted from a model in which the noise arises from critical current fluctuations in the junctions. This result was confirmed by an experiment involving two different bias current and flux modulation schemes, which demonstrated that the predominant 1/f voltage noise arises not from critical current fluctuations, but from some unknown source that can be regarded as an apparent 1/f flux noise. Measurements on five different configurations of dc SQUIDs fabricated with thin-film tunnel junctions and with widely varying areas, inductances, and junction capacitances show that the spectral density of the 1/f equivalent flux noise is roughly constant, within a factor of three of (10-10/f)φ{symbol}02Hz-1. It is emphasized that 1/f flux noise may not be the predominant source of 1/f noise in SQUIDS fabricated with other technologies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)207-224
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Low Temperature Physics
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Apr 1983
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • General Materials Science
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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