Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors

Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button

Home > Press > Scientists Create Nano-Patterned Superconducting Thin Films

A fragment of a superconducting thin film patterned with nano-loops measuring 150 nanometers on a side (small) and 500 nanometers on a side (large), where the nano wires making up each loop have a diameter of 25 nanometers.
A fragment of a superconducting thin film patterned with nano-loops measuring 150 nanometers on a side (small) and 500 nanometers on a side (large), where the nano wires making up each loop have a diameter of 25 nanometers.

Abstract:
Material's fluctuating response to a magnetic field could lead to switchable superconducting wires

Scientists Create Nano-Patterned Superconducting Thin Films

Upton, NY | Posted on June 14th, 2010

A team of scientists from Bar-Ilan University, Israel, and the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Brookhaven National Laboratory has fabricated thin films patterned with large arrays of nanowires and loops that are superconducting — able to carry electric current with no resistance — when cooled below about 30 kelvin (-243 degrees Celsius). Even more interesting, the scientists showed they could change the material's electrical resistance in an unexpected way by placing the material in an external magnetic field.

"Such superconducting nanowires and nano-loops might eventually be useful for new electronic devices — that is the long-term vision," said Brookhaven Lab physicist Ivan Bozovic, who synthesized the superconducting films. "That is the long-term vision."

He and his collaborators describe the research in Nature Nanotechnology, published online June 13, 2010.

It has been a long-standing dream to fabricate superconducting nano-scale wires for faster, more powerful electronics. However, this has turned out to be very difficult if not impossible with conventional superconductors because the minimal size for the sample to be superconducting — known as the coherence length — is large. For example, in the case of niobium, the most widely used superconductor, it is about 40 nanometers. Very thin nano-wires made of such materials wouldn't act as superconductors.

However, in layered copper-oxide superconductors, the coherence length is much smaller — about one or two nanometers within the copper-oxide plane, and as small as a tenth of a nanometer out-of-plane. The fact that these materials operate at warmer temperatures, reducing the need for costly cooling, makes them even more attractive for real-world applications.

To see if they could achieve superconductivity in a thin film material etched to form a pattern of "wires" — much like the circuits etched into computer chips — the Brookhaven team started by using a precision technique for making superconducting thin films atomic layer by layer. They used molecular beam epitaxy to build a material with alternating layers of copper-oxide and lanthanum and strontium. Bozovic's team had previously used this technique to produce thin films that retain superconductivity within a single copper-oxide layer.

Then the team at Bar-Ilan used electron-beam lithography to "etch" a pattern of thousands of loops into the surface of the material. The thickness, or diameter, of the "nanowires" forming the sides of these loops was mere 25 nanometers, while the lengths ranged from 150 to 500 nanometers. Measurements of electrical resistance of the patterned arrays showed that they were indeed superconducting when cooled below about 30 K.

When the scientists applied an external magnetic field perpendicular to the loops, they found that the loop resistance did not keep increasing steadily with the field strength, but rather changed up and down in an oscillatory manner.

"These oscillations in resistance have a large amplitude, and their frequency corresponds to discrete units (quanta) of magnetic flux — the measure of the strength of the magnetic field piercing the loops," Bozovic said. "A material with such a discrete, switchable form of magneto-resistance — especially from the superconducting to the non-superconducting state — could be extremely useful for engineering new devices."

The observed frequency of the oscillations in resistance may also have implications for understanding the mechanism by which copper-oxide materials become superconductors in the first place. The current findings seem to rule out certain theoretical models that propose that an ordered alignment of charge carriers known as "stripes" is essential to superconductivity in copper-oxide compounds. A better understanding of the mechanism of superconductivity could lead to even more advances in designing new materials for practical applications.

The Brookhaven scientists' role in this research was supported by DOE's Office of Science. The work was also funded by the German Research Foundation through a German-Israeli cooperative agreement, and by a scholarship granted by the Israel Ministry of Science.



####

About Brookhaven National Laboratory
One of ten national laboratories overseen and primarily funded by the Office of Science of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), Brookhaven National Laboratory conducts research in the physical, biomedical, and environmental sciences, as well as in energy technologies and national security. Brookhaven Lab also builds and operates major scientific facilities available to university, industry and government researchers. Brookhaven is operated and managed for DOE's Office of Science by Brookhaven Science Associates, a limited-liability company founded by Stony Brook University, the largest academic user of Laboratory facilities, and Battelle, a nonprofit, applied science and technology organization.

For more information, please click here

Contacts:
Karen McNulty Walsh

(631)344-8350

Peter Genzer

(631) 344-3174

Copyright © Brookhaven National Laboratory

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

News and information

Band Gaps, Made to Order: Engineers create atomically thin superlattice materials with precision September 26th, 2017

Assembly of nanoparticles proceeds like a zipper: Viruses and nanoparticles can be assembled into processable superlattice wires according to scientists from Aalto University Finland September 25th, 2017

Enhancing the sensing capabilities of diamonds with quantum properties: A simple method can give diamonds the special properties needed for quantum applications such as sensing magnetic fields September 24th, 2017

Quantum twisted Loong confirms the physical reality of wavefunctions September 23rd, 2017

Thin films

Rice University chemists make laser-induced graphene from wood July 31st, 2017

Graduate Students from Across the Country Attend Hands-on NanoCamp: Prominent scientists Warren Oliver, Ph.D., and George Pharr, Ph.D., presented a weeklong NanoCamp for hand-picked graduate students across the United States July 26th, 2017

Studying Argon Gas Trapped in Two-Dimensional Array of Tiny "Cages": Understanding how individual atoms enter and exit the nanoporous frameworks could help scientists design new materials for gas separation and nuclear waste remediation July 17th, 2017

Thinking thin brings new layering and thermal abilities to the semiconductor industry: In a breakthrough for the semiconductor industry, researchers demonstrate a new layer transfer technique called "controlled spalling" that creates many thin layers from a single gallium nitride July 11th, 2017

Govt.-Legislation/Regulation/Funding/Policy

Quantum twisted Loong confirms the physical reality of wavefunctions September 23rd, 2017

DNA triggers shape-shifting in hydrogels, opening a new way to make 'soft robots' September 21st, 2017

Copper catalyst yields high efficiency CO2-to-fuels conversion: Berkeley Lab scientists discover critical role of nanoparticle transformation September 20th, 2017

Solar-to-fuel system recycles CO2 to make ethanol and ethylene: Berkeley Lab advance is first demonstration of efficient, light-powered production of fuel via artificial photosynthesis September 19th, 2017

Possible Futures

Band Gaps, Made to Order: Engineers create atomically thin superlattice materials with precision September 26th, 2017

Assembly of nanoparticles proceeds like a zipper: Viruses and nanoparticles can be assembled into processable superlattice wires according to scientists from Aalto University Finland September 25th, 2017

Enhancing the sensing capabilities of diamonds with quantum properties: A simple method can give diamonds the special properties needed for quantum applications such as sensing magnetic fields September 24th, 2017

Application of air-sensitive semiconductors in nanoelectronics: 2-D semiconductor gallium selenide in encapsulated nanoelectronic devices September 22nd, 2017

Academic/Education

Two Scientists Receive Grants to Develop New Materials: Chad Mirkin and Monica Olvera de la Cruz recognized by Sherman Fairchild Foundation August 16th, 2017

Moving at the Speed of Light: University of Arizona selected for high-impact, industrial demonstration of new integrated photonic cryogenic datalink for focal plane arrays: Program is major milestone for AIM Photonics August 10th, 2017

Graduate Students from Across the Country Attend Hands-on NanoCamp: Prominent scientists Warren Oliver, Ph.D., and George Pharr, Ph.D., presented a weeklong NanoCamp for hand-picked graduate students across the United States July 26th, 2017

The Physics Department of Imperial College, London, uses the Quorum Q150T to deposit metals and ITO to make plasmonic sensors and electric contact pads July 13th, 2017

Announcements

Band Gaps, Made to Order: Engineers create atomically thin superlattice materials with precision September 26th, 2017

Assembly of nanoparticles proceeds like a zipper: Viruses and nanoparticles can be assembled into processable superlattice wires according to scientists from Aalto University Finland September 25th, 2017

Enhancing the sensing capabilities of diamonds with quantum properties: A simple method can give diamonds the special properties needed for quantum applications such as sensing magnetic fields September 24th, 2017

Quantum twisted Loong confirms the physical reality of wavefunctions September 23rd, 2017

Research partnerships

GLOBALFOUNDRIES Delivers Custom 14nm FinFET Technology for IBM Systems: Jointly developed 14HP process is world’s only technology that leverages both FinFET and SOI September 20th, 2017

Solar-to-fuel system recycles CO2 to make ethanol and ethylene: Berkeley Lab advance is first demonstration of efficient, light-powered production of fuel via artificial photosynthesis September 19th, 2017

A new approach to ultrafast light pulses: Unusual fluorescent materials could be used for rapid light-based communications systems September 19th, 2017

New insights into nanocrystal growth in liquid: Understanding process that creates complex crystals important for energy applications September 14th, 2017

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