Using the AC Josephson effect in the superconductor-vacuum-superconductor tunnel junction of a scanning tunneling microscope (STM), we demonstrate the generation of GHz radiation. With the macroscopic STM tip acting as a λ/4-monopole antenna, we first show that the atomic scale Josephson junction in the STM is sensitive to its frequency-dependent environmental impedance in the GHz regime. Further, enhancing Cooper pair tunneling via excitations of the tip eigenmodes, we are able to generate high-frequency radiation. We find that for vanadium junctions, the enhanced photon emission can be tuned from about 25 GHz to 200 GHz and that large photon flux in excess of 1020 cm−2 s−1 is reached in the tunnel junction. These findings demonstrate that the atomic scale Josephson junction in an STM can be employed as a full spectroscopic tool for GHz frequencies on the atomic scale.

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