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Dissipative processes in superconducting nanodevices: nanowire-resonators, shunted nanowires, and graphene proximity junctions

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Title: Dissipative processes in superconducting nanodevices: nanowire-resonators, shunted nanowires, and graphene proximity junctions
Author(s): Brenner, Matthew W.
Director of Research: Bezryadin, Alexey
Doctoral Committee Chair(s): Giannetta, Russell W.
Doctoral Committee Member(s): Bezryadin, Alexey; Kwiat, Paul G.; Leggett, Anthony J.
Department / Program: Physics
Discipline: Physics
Degree Granting Institution: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Degree: Ph.D.
Genre: Dissertation
Subject(s): nanowire superconductor qubit MoGe quantum phase slip phase slip shunted nanowire graphene proximity junction Molybdenum (Mo) Germanium (Ge)
Abstract: The topic of superconducting nanowires has recently been an interesting field of research which has included the study of the superconductor to insulator transition (SIT), the observation of macroscopic quantum behavior such as quantum phase slips (QPS), and the potential use of nanowires as qubits. Superconducting coplanar microwave waveguide resonators have also become a popular way of studying superconducting junctions and qubits, as they provide an extremely low noise environment. For example, superconducting two-dimensional Fabry-Perot resonators have been used by other groups to make non-demolition measurements of a qubit. The motivation of this thesis will be the merging of the fields of superconducting nanowires and the technique of using superconducting microwave resonators to study junctions by incorporating a nanowire into the resonator itself at a current anti-node. By doing this, the nonlinear effects of the nanowire can be studied which may find application in single photon detectors, mixers, and the readout of qubits. We also employ the technique of molecular templating to fabricate some of the thinnest superconducting nanowires ever studied (down to ~ 5 nm in diameter in some cases). In this thesis, we extend the understanding of the nonlinear properties of a nanowire- resonator system and investigate a new type of nonlinearity that involves a pulsing regime between the superconducting and normal phases of the nanowire. We develop a model, which describes the results quantitatively and by modeling the system, we are able to extract information regarding the relaxation time of the nanowire back into the superconducting state. We also study double nanowire-resonator systems where two closely spaced parallel nanowires interrupt the resonator center conductor and form a loop where vortex tunneling processes can occur. Using a double nanowire-resonator we are able to observe the Little-Parks effect at low temperatures (where the resistance of the wires is immeasurably low) and are able to confirm the multivalued nature of the current phase relationship (CPR) in nanowires. Additionally, we observe an anomalous transmission regime where the periodic pulsing is replaced by stochastic amplitude fluctuations. In addition to microwave measurements on nanowires, we also study the normal state in resistively shunted nanowires with dc measurements where the inclusion of a shunt resistor is observed to change the nature of the normal state from the Joule heated state to a state that preserves phase coherence. Finally, the statistics on switching current events in graphene proximity junctions are analyzed and compared to the well known results for Josephson junctions. Only thermal activation (and no macroscopic quantum tunneling) is observed in graphene proximity superconducting junctions down to temperatures of ~ 300 mK.
Issue Date: 2011-08-25
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/2142/26054
Rights Information: Copyright 2011 Matthew W. Brenner
Date Available in IDEALS: 2011-08-25
Date Deposited: 2011-08
 

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