Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors

Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button

Home > Press > Superconducting nanowires show ability to measure magnetic fields

Abstract:
Nanodevices could be used to measure magnetic fields and map regions of superconductivity

Superconducting nanowires show ability to measure magnetic fields

Champaign, IL | June 16, 2005

By using DNA molecules as scaffolds, scientists have created superconducting nanodevices that demonstrate a new type of quantum interference and could be used to measure magnetic fields and map regions of superconductivity.

Researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have fabricated and studied nanostructures consisting of pairs of suspended superconducting wires as tiny as 3 to 4 molecular diameters (typically 5 to 15 nanometers) in width. The team consisted of physics professors Alexey Bezryadin and Paul Goldbart, and graduate students David Hopkins and David Pekker. Their work is described in the June 17 issue of the journal Science.

“Our measurements on these two-nanowire devices revealed a strange class of periodic oscillations in resistance with applied magnetic field,” Bezryadin said. “Through experimentation and theory, we found both an explanation for this odd behavior and a way to put it to work.”

To make their nanodevices, the researchers began by placing molecules of DNA across a narrow trench (about 100 nanometers wide) etched in a silicon wafer. The molecules and trench banks were then coated with a thin film of superconducting material (molybdenum-germanium). The result was a device containing a pair of homogeneous, superconducting nanowires with extremely fine features.

“In the absence of a magnetic field, these ultra-narrow wires exhibited a nonzero resistance over a broad temperature range,” Bezryadin said. “At temperatures where thicker wires would already be superconducting, these DNA-templated wires remained resistive.”

Tuning the strength of a magnetic field applied to the device, however, caused highly pronounced and periodic oscillations in resistance, at any temperature in the transition region.

“The applied magnetic field causes a small current to flow along the trench banks, and this current then causes a large change in resistance,” Goldbart said. “The strength of the current is controlled only by the magnetic field and the width of the banks supporting the wires.”

The resulting periodic oscillation is a reflection of the wave nature of matter that goes to the very heart of quantum mechanics, Goldbart said. “Unlike ordinary matter, the electrons in these wires are behaving as though they are one quantum mechanical object in one great quantum mechanical wave function.”

Metallic nanodevices based on DNA scaffolds could be used in applications such as local magnetometry and the imaging of phase profiles created by supercurrents – in essence a superconducting phase gradiometer, the researchers report.

“By taking advantage of DNA self-assembly processes, complex scaffolds could be created for electronic devices with features having molecular-scale dimensions,” Bezryadin said.

In related work, to appear in the August issue of the journal Nanotechnology (published online in May), Bezryadin and undergraduate student Mikas Remeika improved the nanofabrication process by using a focused electron beam to locally alter the shape and structure of metallized nanowires.

Performed in a transmission electron microscope, electron-beam sculpting and crystallization can modify small segments of the nanowires, with a spatial resolution of approximately 3 nanometers, Bezryadin said. The technique could be used to fabricate novel electronic nanodevices, such as single-electron transistors, with dimensions less than 10 nanometers.

Funding came from the National Science Foundation, the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation and the U.S. Department of Energy.

Editor’s note: To reach Alexey Bezryadin, call 217-333-9580; e-mail: bezryadi@uiuc.edu.

To reach Paul Goldbart, call 217-333-1195; e-mail: goldbart@uiuc.edu.

####

Contact:
James E. Kloeppel
Physical Sciences Editor
217-244-1073
kloeppel@uiuc.edu

Copyright © University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

If you have a comment, please Contact us.

Issuers of news releases, not 7th Wave, Inc. or Nanotechnology Now, are solely responsible for the accuracy of the content.

Bookmark:
Delicious Digg Newsvine Google Yahoo Reddit Magnoliacom Furl Facebook

Related News Press

Possible Futures

Physicists decipher electronic properties of materials in work that may change transistors December 6th, 2016

Fast, efficient sperm tails inspire nanobiotechnology December 5th, 2016

Construction of practical quantum computers radically simplified: Scientists invent ground-breaking new method that puts quantum computers within reach December 5th, 2016

Shape matters when light meets atom: Mapping the interaction of a single atom with a single photon may inform design of quantum devices December 4th, 2016

Self Assembly

Computers made of genetic material? HZDR researchers conduct electricity using DNA-based nanowires November 9th, 2016

First multicellular organism inspires the design of better cancer drugs September 15th, 2016

A versatile method to pattern functionalized nanowires: A team of researchers from Hokkaido University has developed a versatile method to pattern the structure of 'nanowires,' providing a new tool for the development of novel nanodevices September 9th, 2016

Location matters in the self-assembly of nanoclusters: Iowa State University scientists have developed a new formulation to explain an aspect of the self-assembly of nanoclusters on surfaces that has broad applications for nanotechnology September 8th, 2016

Announcements

Leti IEDM 2016 Paper Clarifies Correlation between Endurance, Window Margin and Retention in RRAM for First Time: Paper Presented at IEDM 2016 Offers Ways to Reconcile High-cycling Requirements and Instability at High Temperatures in Resistive RAM December 6th, 2016

Tokyo Institute of Technology research: 3D solutions to energy savings in silicon power transistors December 6th, 2016

Physicists decipher electronic properties of materials in work that may change transistors December 6th, 2016

Infrared instrumentation leader secures exclusive use of Vantablack coating December 5th, 2016

Tools

Deep insights from surface reactions: Researchers use Stampede supercomputer to study new chemical sensing methods, desalination and bacterial energy production December 2nd, 2016

Controlled electron pulses November 30th, 2016

Scientists shrink electron gun to matchbox size: Terahertz technology has the potential to enable new applications November 25th, 2016

News from Quorum: The Agricultural Research Service of the USDA uses a Quorum Cryo-SEM preparation system for the study of mites, ticks and other soft bodied organisms November 22nd, 2016

NanoNews-Digest
The latest news from around the world, FREE




  Premium Products
NanoNews-Custom
Only the news you want to read!
 Learn More
NanoTech-Transfer
University Technology Transfer & Patents
 Learn More
NanoStrategies
Full-service, expert consulting
 Learn More











ASP
Nanotechnology Now Featured Books




NNN

The Hunger Project