Fabrication-process-induced variations of Nb/Al/AlOx/Nb Josephson junctions in superconductor integrated circuits

Sergey K Tolpygo, Denis Amparo
2010 Superconductors Science and Technology  
Currently, superconductor digital integrated circuits fabricated at HYPRES, Inc. can operate at clock frequencies of ~ 40 GHz. The circuits present multilayered structures containing tens of thousands of Nb/Al/AlOx/Nb Josephson junctions (JJs) of various sizes interconnected by four Nb wiring layers, resistors, and other circuit elements. In order to be operational, the integrated circuits should be fabricated such that the critical currents of Josephson junctions remain within the tight design
more » ... margins and the proper relationships between the critical currents of JJs of different sizes are preserved. We present experimental data and discuss mechanisms of process-induced variations of the critical current and energy gap of Nb/Al/AlOx/Nb Josephson junctions in integrated circuits. We demonstrate that the Josephson critical current may depend on the type and area of circuit elements connected to the junction, on the circuit pattern, and on the step in the fabrication process at which the connection is made. In particular, we discuss the influence of a) junction base electrode connection to ground plane, b) junction counter electrode connection to ground plane, and c) counter electrode connection to Ti/Au or Ti/Pd/Au contact pads by Nb wiring. We show that the process-induced changes of the properties of Nb/Al/AlOx/Nb junctions are caused by migration of impurity atoms (hydrogen) between different layers comprising the integrated circuits.
doi:10.1088/0953-2048/23/3/034024 fatcat:phqsqoshbfcw3dzros3bbp3oxy