In their original formulation of superconductivity, the London brothers predicted1 the exponential suppression of an electrostatic field inside a superconductor over the so-called London penetration depth2–4, λL. Despite a few experiments indicating hints of perturbation induced by electrostatic fields5–7, no clue has been provided so far on the possibility to manipulate metallic superconductors via the field effect. Here, we report field-effect control of the supercurrent in all-metallic transistors made of different Bardeen–Cooper–Schrieffer superconducting thin films. At low temperature, our field-effect transistors show a monotonic decay of the critical current under increasing electrostatic field up to total quenching for gate voltage values as large as ±40 V in titanium-based devices. This bipolar field effect persists up to ~85% of the critical temperature (~0.41 K), and in the presence of sizable magnetic fields. A similar behaviour is observed in aluminium thin-film field-effect transistors. A phenomenological theory accounts for our observations, and points towards the interpretation in terms of an electric-field-induced perturbation propagating inside the superconducting film. In our understanding, this affects the pairing potential and quenches the supercurrent. These results could represent a groundbreaking asset for the realization of all-metallic superconducting field-effect electronics and leading-edge quantum information architectures8,9.

Metallic supercurrent field-effect transistor

De Simoni G.;Paolucci F.;Strambini E.;Giazotto F.
2018

Abstract

In their original formulation of superconductivity, the London brothers predicted1 the exponential suppression of an electrostatic field inside a superconductor over the so-called London penetration depth2–4, λL. Despite a few experiments indicating hints of perturbation induced by electrostatic fields5–7, no clue has been provided so far on the possibility to manipulate metallic superconductors via the field effect. Here, we report field-effect control of the supercurrent in all-metallic transistors made of different Bardeen–Cooper–Schrieffer superconducting thin films. At low temperature, our field-effect transistors show a monotonic decay of the critical current under increasing electrostatic field up to total quenching for gate voltage values as large as ±40 V in titanium-based devices. This bipolar field effect persists up to ~85% of the critical temperature (~0.41 K), and in the presence of sizable magnetic fields. A similar behaviour is observed in aluminium thin-film field-effect transistors. A phenomenological theory accounts for our observations, and points towards the interpretation in terms of an electric-field-induced perturbation propagating inside the superconducting film. In our understanding, this affects the pairing potential and quenches the supercurrent. These results could represent a groundbreaking asset for the realization of all-metallic superconducting field-effect electronics and leading-edge quantum information architectures8,9.
Settore FIS/03 - Fisica della Materia
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11384/110020
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