Journal of Low Temperature Physics

, Volume 194, Issue 3–4, pp 273–284 | Cite as

Operation of a Latching, Low-Loss, Wideband Microwave Phase-Change Switch Below 1 K

  • P. Borodulin
  • N. El-Hinnawy
  • A. L. Graninger
  • M. R. King
  • C. R. Padilla
  • L. N. Upton
  • R. T. Hinkey
  • T. E. Schlesinger
  • A. A. Pesetski
  • M. E. Sherwin
  • R. M. YoungEmail author


We report on the design, fabrication, and demonstration of the operation of a latching (nonvolatile) low-loss microwave switch at 4.2 K and 40 mK using the phase-change material germanium telluride (GeTe) as the switching element. The single-pole double-throw (SPDT) series–shunt switch has a single RF input and two selectable RF outputs. An insertion loss of less than 1 dB from DC to 10 GHz was demonstrated, with virtually identical performance across 5000 switching cycles at 40 mK. We have also characterized the resistance of the GeTe thin-film material used in the fabrication of the SPDT switch from room temperature down to 11 mK. While bulk GeTe is known to become superconducting below 1 K, these GeTe films showed no detectable superconducting transition, resulting in a switch with finite on-state DC resistance. Given the wide range of phase-change material candidates reported in the literature and prior evidence of superconductivity, this demonstration paves the way for future development of a near-ideal switch which could have zero on-state DC resistance at cryogenic temperatures.


Phase-change material Microwave switch Latching Nonvolatile Low loss GeTe 



This research was developed with funding from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). The views, opinions, and/or findings expressed are those of the author and should not be interpreted as representing the official views or policies of the Department of Defense or the US Government.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • P. Borodulin
    • 1
    • 2
  • N. El-Hinnawy
    • 1
    • 3
    • 4
  • A. L. Graninger
    • 1
  • M. R. King
    • 1
    • 5
  • C. R. Padilla
    • 1
    • 6
  • L. N. Upton
    • 1
  • R. T. Hinkey
    • 1
  • T. E. Schlesinger
    • 2
  • A. A. Pesetski
    • 1
  • M. E. Sherwin
    • 1
  • R. M. Young
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Northrop Grumman Mission Systems, Advanced Technology LaboratoryLinthicumUSA
  2. 2.Johns Hopkins UniversityBaltimoreUSA
  3. 3.Carnegie Mellon UniversityPittsburghUSA
  4. 4.TowerJazzNewport BeachUSA
  5. 5.WolfspeedDurhamUSA
  6. 6.Akoustis TechnologiesCanandaiguaUSA

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