Superconductivity in nanocluster films [article]

Amol V. Nande, University Of Canterbury
2016
Superconductivity in a bulk material is generally characterizing by a sharp drop in the resistance of the sample as a result of formation of a quantum condensate of paired electrons when the temperature is reduced below the critical temperature. However, superconducting behaviour changes dramatically with reducing dimensions of the superconducting structure. Several different behaviours have been reported in this dirty limit such as quantum phase slips, total suppression of superconductivity
more » ... a transition from the superconducting state to an insulating state. The question of how small a superconducting object can be before it loses its superconducting behaviour and what are the mechanisms that determine nanomaterials different behaviour at low temperatures are of fundamental importance of understanding the nature of superconductivity at the nanoscale and have the tremendous technological importance. Nanocluster films are ideal for addressing these questions, as they provide independent control of both cluster size and surface coverage and allow the study of local as well as global suppression of superconductivity. In particular, the percolating properties of the groups of clusters play vital role in the superconducting behaviour of the film. In this research clusters were produced in an inert gas aggregation source and deposited in ultra high vacuum. We present results obtained from the electrical characterization of films of ~ 30 nm diameter Pb nanoclusters deposited on SiN substrates at temperatures 10 K and 300 K; these substrates have pre-fabricated gold electrodes to monitor conductance of the percolating nanocluster film. A wide range of samples, with normal state resistances from 30 Ω and 5 MΩ, were prepared. The main focus of the study is on transport measurements for 10 K deposited samples. For low coverage films (above the percolation threshold) with RN ≳ 1 kΩ, low current V(I) and R(T) data show clear evidence of phase slips which appear to occur in the narrow 1 dimensional necks between the cluster [...]
doi:10.26021/5835 fatcat:pxvvapkvk5cttduinhuakfhxqe