2021 Volume E104.C Issue 9 Pages 435-445
We developed a Nb 4-layer process for fabricating superconducting integrated circuits that involves using caldera planarization to increase the flexibility and reliability of the fabrication process. We call this process the planarized high-speed standard process (PHSTP). Planarization enables us to flexibly adjust most of the Nb and SiO2 film thicknesses; we can select reduced film thicknesses to obtain larger mutual coupling depending on the application. It also reduces the risk of intra-layer shorts due to etching residues at the step-edge regions. We describe the detailed process flows of the planarization for the Josephson junction layer and the evaluation of devices fabricated with PHSTP. The results indicated no short defects or degradation in junction characteristics and good agreement between designed and measured inductances and resistances. We also developed single-flux-quantum (SFQ) and adiabatic quantum-flux-parametron (AQFP) logic cell libraries and tested circuits fabricated with PHSTP. We found that the designed circuits operated correctly. The SFQ shift-registers fabricated using PHSTP showed a high yield. Numerical simulation results indicate that the AQFP gates with increased mutual coupling by the planarized layer structure increase the maximum interconnect length between gates.