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Quantum effects in nanoscale Josephson junction circuits

by Corlevi, Silvia

Abstract (Summary)
This thesis presents the results of an experimental study on single-charge effects in nanoscale Josephson junctions and Cooper pair transistors (CPTs).In nanoscale Josephson junctions the charging energy EC becomes significant at sub-Kelvin temperatures and single-charge effects, such as the Coulomb blockade of Cooper pair tunneling, influence the transport properties. In order to observe charging effects in a single Josephson junction, the impedance of the electromagnetic environment surrounding the junction has to be larger than the quantum resistance (RQ=h/4e2?6.45k?).In this work the high impedance environment is obtained by biasing the sample under test (single Josephson junction or CPT) with four one-dimensional Josephson junction arrays having SQUID geometry. The advantage of this configuration is the possibility of tuning in situ the effective impedance of the electromagnetic environment. By applying a magnetic field perpendicular to the SQUID loops, the Josephson energy EJ of the SQUIDs is suppressed, resulting in an increase of the measured zero bias resistance of the arrays of several orders of magnitude (104< R0 (?) <109). This bias method enables the measurement of the same sample in environments with different impedance.As the impedance of the environment is increased, the current-voltage characteristics (IVCs) of the single Josephson junction and of the CPT show a well defined Coulomb blockade feature with a region of negative differential resistance, signature of the coherent tunneling of single Cooper pairs.The measured IVCs of a single Josephson junction with SQUID geometry in the high impedance environment show a qualitative agreement with the Bloch band theory as the EJ/EC ratio of the junction is tuned with the magnetic field. We also studied a single nontunable Josephson junction with strong coupling (EJ/EC > 1), where the exact dual of the overdamped Josephson effect is realized, resulting in a dual shape of the IVC, where the roles of current and voltage are exchanged. Here, we make for the first time a detailed quantitative comparison with a theory which includes the effect of fluctuations due to the finite temperature of the environment.The measurements on CPTs in the high impedance environment showed that the Coulomb blockade voltage is modulated periodically by the gate-induced charge. The gate-voltage dependence of the CPT changes from e-periodic to 2e-periodic as the impedance of the environment is increased. The high impedance environment reduces quasiparticle tunneling rates, thereby restoring the even parity of the CPT island. This behavior suggests that high impedance leads can be used to effectively suppress quasiparticle poisoning.
Bibliographical Information:

Advisor:

School:Kungliga Tekniska högskolan

School Location:Sweden

Source Type:Doctoral Dissertation

Keywords:NATURAL SCIENCES; Physics; Josephson junctions; Josephson junction arrays; electromagnetic environment; Cooper pair transistor; parity effects

ISBN:91-7178-353-9

Date of Publication:01/01/2006

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