The ability to manipulate a single quantum object, such as a single electron or a single spin, to induce a change in a macroscopic observable lies at the heart of nanodevices of the future. We report an experiment wherein a single superconducting flux quantum, or a fluxon, can be exploited to switch the resistance of a nanowire between two discrete values. The experimental geometry consists of centimeter-long nanowires of superconducting Ga-In eutectic, with spontaneously formed Ga nanodroplets along the length of the nanowire. The nonzero resistance occurs when a Ga nanodroplet traps one or more superconducting fluxons, thereby driving a Josephson weak-link created by a second nearby Ga nanodroplet normal. The fluxons can be inserted or flipped by careful manipulation of the magnetic field or temperature to produce one of many metastable states of the system.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Materials Science(all)
- Condensed Matter Physics
- Mechanical Engineering