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Experimental evidence of quantum phase slip phenomena in ultra-narrow superconducting channels

Maciej L. Zgirski 1,2K.P: Riikonen 1V. Touboltsev 1M. Savolainen 1K. Y. Arutyunov 1

1. University of Jyvaskyla, NanoScience Centre, Department of Physics (JYFL), Survontie 9 PB 35, Jyvaskyla 40014, Finland
2. Warsaw University of Technology, Faculty of Physics, Koszykowa 75, Warszawa 00-662, Poland


A superconducting wire can be considered as quasi-one dimensional (1D) if its characteristic transverse dimension is smaller than the coherence length ξ. The shape of the bottom part of the resistive transition R(T) of a not too narrow 1D strip is well described by the model of thermally activated phase slips [1,2]. However, if the wire width falls into a ~ 10 nm range, there are predictions that a new phase slip mechanism due to quantum tunneling should be observed [3,4,5]. We have developed a method of progressive reduction the transverse dimensions of e-beam lift-off fabricated nanowires by ion-beam sputtering. Sputtering can be thought as an erosion of the structure due to bombardment of primary ions. The method is very promising, for it lets us directly follow changes in superconductive transition in 1D superconductor along with successive reduction of its cross-section. Aluminum wires with effective diameter < 35 nm did show up a low temperature 'foot' at R(T) dependencies, which can be associated with quantum phase slip mechanism.


[1] J.S. Langer, V . Ambegaokar, Phys. Rev. 164, 498 (1967)
[2] D.E. McCumber, B.I. Halperin, Phys. Rev. B 1, 1054 (1970)
[3] A. Zaikin, D. Golubev, A. van Otterlo, and G. T. Zimanyi, PRL 78, 1552 (1997)
[4] A. Zaikin, D. Golubev, A. van Otterlo, and G. T. Zimanyi, Uspexi Fiz. Nauk 168, 244 (1998)
[5] D. Golubev and A. Zaikin, Phys. Rev. B 64, 014504 (2001)


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Presentation: oral at E-MRS Fall Meeting 2004, Symposium E, by Maciej L. Zgirski
See On-line Journal of E-MRS Fall Meeting 2004

Submitted: 2004-04-23 17:17
Revised:   2009-06-08 12:55