Strands of Superconductivity at the Nanoscale
May 26, 2010 - 3:00pm to 4:00pm
Howey Physics, L5
Superconducting circuitry can now be fabricated at the nanoscale by depositing suitable materials on to single molecules, such as DNA or carbon nanotubes. I shall discuss various themes that arise when superconductivity is explored in this new regime, including the thermal passage over and quantum tunneling through barriers by the superconducting condensate, as well as the hormetic impact that magnetism can have on nanosuperconductivity. I shall also describe circuits that realize nanoscale superconducting quantum interference devices, exploring their sensitivity to magnetic fields and spatial patterns of supercurrent. These features hint at possible uses of nanoscale superconducting circuitry, such as in mapping out the quantum phase of superconducting order and testing for superconducting correlations in novel materials and settings. If time permits, I shall also mention some emerging themes: the interplay between graphene and superconductivity, and what nanoprobes might be revealing about exotic superconductors.