A near-ideal degenerate parametric amplifier
Degenerate parametric amplifiers (DPAs) exhibit the unique property of phase-sensitive gain and can be used to noiselessly amplify small signals or squeeze field fluctuations beneath the vacuum level. In the microwave domain, these amplifiers have been utilized to measure qubits in elementary quantum processors, search for dark matter, facilitate high-sensitivity spin resonance spectroscopy and have even been proposed as the building blocks for a measurement based quantum computer. Until now, microwave DPAs have almost exclusively been made from nonlinear Josephson junctions, which exhibit high-order nonlinearities that limit their dynamic range and squeezing potential. In this work we investigate a new microwave DPA that exploits a nonlinearity engineered from kinetic inductance. The device has a simple design and displays a dynamic range that is four orders of magnitude greater than state-of-the-art Josephson DPAs. We measure phase sensitive gains up to 50 dB and demonstrate a near-quantum-limited noise performance. Additionally, we show that the higher-order nonlinearities that limit other microwave DPAs are almost non-existent for this amplifier, which allows us to demonstrate its exceptional squeezing potential by measuring the deamplification of coherent states by as much as 26 dB.