Observation of individual macroscopic quantum tunneling events in superconducting nanowires

Meenakshi Singh, Moses Hung-Wai Chan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

8 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

In quasi-one-dimensional nanowires, superconductivity is destroyed by phase slip events. Phase slips can be caused by thermal activation over a free energy barrier (TAPS) or quantum tunneling through the barrier (QPS). Quantum phase slip is an example of macroscopic quantum tunneling. Here, we report the observation of QPS experimentally separated from interference of TAPS in aluminum nanowires. This separation between the low-temperature QPS and the high-temperature TAPS regions is made possible by a phase slip free superconducting region stabilized by the dissipative environment viz. the normal electrodes. Individual QPSs are detected by means of a single-shot voltage measurement protocol, in which they appear as stochastic switching events from the superconducting to the normal state.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number064511
JournalPhysical Review B - Condensed Matter and Materials Physics
Volume88
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 26 2013

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Nanowires
nanowires
slip
Energy barriers
Voltage measurement
Superconductivity
Free energy
Chemical activation
Aluminum
Temperature
Electrodes
electrical measurement
shot
superconductivity
free energy
activation
aluminum
interference
electrodes
tyrosyl-arginyl-phenylalanyl-sarcosine

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics

Cite this

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Observation of individual macroscopic quantum tunneling events in superconducting nanowires. / Singh, Meenakshi; Chan, Moses Hung-Wai.

In: Physical Review B - Condensed Matter and Materials Physics, Vol. 88, No. 6, 064511, 26.08.2013.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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AB - In quasi-one-dimensional nanowires, superconductivity is destroyed by phase slip events. Phase slips can be caused by thermal activation over a free energy barrier (TAPS) or quantum tunneling through the barrier (QPS). Quantum phase slip is an example of macroscopic quantum tunneling. Here, we report the observation of QPS experimentally separated from interference of TAPS in aluminum nanowires. This separation between the low-temperature QPS and the high-temperature TAPS regions is made possible by a phase slip free superconducting region stabilized by the dissipative environment viz. the normal electrodes. Individual QPSs are detected by means of a single-shot voltage measurement protocol, in which they appear as stochastic switching events from the superconducting to the normal state.

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