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Emergence of Quantum Phase-Slip Behaviour in Superconducting NbN Nanowires: DC Electrical Transport and Fabrication Technologies

Constantino, NGN; Anwar, MS; Kennedy, OW; Dang, M; Warburton, PA; Fenton, JC; (2018) Emergence of Quantum Phase-Slip Behaviour in Superconducting NbN Nanowires: DC Electrical Transport and Fabrication Technologies. Nanomaterials , 8 (6) , Article 442. 10.3390/nano8060442. Green open access

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Abstract

Superconducting nanowires undergoing quantum phase-slips have potential for impact in electronic devices, with a high-accuracy quantum current standard among a possible toolbox of novel components. A key element of developing such technologies is to understand the requirements for, and control the production of, superconducting nanowires that undergo coherent quantum phase-slips. We present three fabrication technologies, based on using electron-beam lithography or neon focussed ion-beam lithography, for defining narrow superconducting nanowires, and have used these to create nanowires in niobium nitride with widths in the range of 20⁻250 nm. We present characterisation of the nanowires using DC electrical transport at temperatures down to 300 mK. We demonstrate that a range of different behaviours may be obtained in different nanowires, including bulk-like superconducting properties with critical-current features, the observation of phase-slip centres and the observation of zero conductance below a critical voltage, characteristic of coherent quantum phase-slips. We observe critical voltages up to 5 mV, an order of magnitude larger than other reports to date. The different prominence of quantum phase-slip effects in the various nanowires may be understood as arising from the differing importance of quantum fluctuations. Control of the nanowire properties will pave the way for routine fabrication of coherent quantum phase-slip nanowire devices for technology applications.

Type: Article
Title: Emergence of Quantum Phase-Slip Behaviour in Superconducting NbN Nanowires: DC Electrical Transport and Fabrication Technologies
Location: Switzerland
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.3390/nano8060442
Publisher version: http://doi.org/10.3390/nano8060442
Language: English
Additional information: This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0) (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).
Keywords: low-dimensional superconductors, niobium nitride, quantum technologies, superconducting nanowire, superconductor–insulator transition
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science > Dept of Electronic and Electrical Eng
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Maths and Physical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Maths and Physical Sciences > London Centre for Nanotechnology
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10051101
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