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Electrical Quantum Metrology

Department 2.6


The department "Electrical Quantum Metrology"


  • provides the electrical quantum standards for the realization of the basic electrical units current, voltage and resistance, which serve as a basis for the representation of the electrical units in the International System of Units SI with reference to natural constants, and

  • develops and optimises new quantum-based electrical measurement methods and systems, in particular for the creation of user-friendly systems also for use outside of metrology institutes.


Many activities are being pursued in close cooperation with working groups of the departments 2.4, 2.5 and 7.6, often also together with external partners in cooperation projects in national and European programs (for example EMPIR).

Main goal is the further development of metrological setups, methods and instruments in order to simplify their typically complex and expensive operation. This benefits service- and customer-oriented sections in metrology institutes such as PTB (especially in department 2.1), and also enables the use of quantum-based standards in industrial calibration laboratories.


  • In working group 2.61 "Current and Quantum Resistance", the realisation of the resistance unit ohm based on the quantum Hall effect is performed. Focus of research is the exploration and optimization of new materials for realizing the quantum Hall effect under simplified conditions, as well as the development of industrial measuring bridges for resistance metrology. In addition, the working group develops new methods for the traceable and highly accurate measurement and generation of small DC electrical currents and for the realization of the ampere (A).





  • Working group 2.63 "Josephson effect, voltage" deals with the realization of the voltage unit Volt (V) by using the Josephson effect. Integrated circuits of tens of thousands of superconducting tunnel junctions (Josephson elements) allow the quantum-based generation of DC voltages and low-frequency AC voltages with amplitudes up to 10 volts. Precise synthesis of AC voltages with arbitrary waveforms at higher frequencies is made possible by circuits based on pulse-driven Josephson devices. 




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