Applied Physics Letters

Subpicosecond optoelectronic study of resistive and superconductive transmission lines

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We have studed the propagation of subpicosecond electrical pulses on coplanar resistive and superconductive Nb transmission lines. Pulses with 0.9 ps full width at half maximum were generated and detected by shorting fast photoconductive switches with 80 fs laser pulses. Dramatic improvements in propagation characteristics were achieved when the Nb was superconductive. We observed the strong dispersion and attenuation predicted to occur for frequency components near the superconducting enery gap frequency.