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

Graphene and quantum dots put in motion a CMOS-integrated camera that can see the invisible May 29th, 2017

Ag/ZnO-Nanorods Schottky diodes based UV-PDs are fabricated and tested May 26th, 2017

New metamaterial-enhanced MRI technique tested on humans May 26th, 2017

Controlling 3-D behavior of biological cells using laser holographic techniques May 26th, 2017

Thin films

Discovery of new transparent thin film material could improve electronics and solar cells: Conductivity is highest-ever for thin film oxide semiconductor material May 6th, 2017

MIT Energy Initiative awards 10 seed fund grants for early-stage energy research May 4th, 2017

Nanomechanics, Inc. Unveils New Product at ICMCTF Show April 25th: Nanoindentation experts will launch the new Gemini that measures the interaction of two objects that are sliding across each other not merely making contact April 21st, 2017

Nanomechanics Inc. President Warren Oliver, PhD to Present at ICMCTF: Nanoindentation experts will discuss new testing system that measures the interaction of two objects that are sliding across each other not merely making contact April 17th, 2017

Govt.-Legislation/Regulation/Funding/Policy

Graphene and quantum dots put in motion a CMOS-integrated camera that can see the invisible May 29th, 2017

New metamaterial-enhanced MRI technique tested on humans May 26th, 2017

Controlling 3-D behavior of biological cells using laser holographic techniques May 26th, 2017

Unveiling the quantum necklace: Researchers simulate quantum necklace-like structures in superfluids May 26th, 2017

Possible Futures

Ag/ZnO-Nanorods Schottky diodes based UV-PDs are fabricated and tested May 26th, 2017

New metamaterial-enhanced MRI technique tested on humans May 26th, 2017

Controlling 3-D behavior of biological cells using laser holographic techniques May 26th, 2017

Unveiling the quantum necklace: Researchers simulate quantum necklace-like structures in superfluids May 26th, 2017

Academic/Education

MIT Energy Initiative awards 10 seed fund grants for early-stage energy research May 4th, 2017

Bar-Ilan University to set up quantum research center May 1st, 2017

California Research Alliance by BASF establishes more than 25 research projects in three years April 26th, 2017

SUNY Polytechnic Institute Announces Total of 172 Teams Selected to Compete in Solar in Your Community Challenge: Teams from 40 states, plus Washington, DC, 2 Territories, and 4 American Indian Reservations, Will Deploy Solar in Underserved Communities April 20th, 2017

Announcements

Graphene and quantum dots put in motion a CMOS-integrated camera that can see the invisible May 29th, 2017

Ag/ZnO-Nanorods Schottky diodes based UV-PDs are fabricated and tested May 26th, 2017

New metamaterial-enhanced MRI technique tested on humans May 26th, 2017

Controlling 3-D behavior of biological cells using laser holographic techniques May 26th, 2017

Research partnerships

Graphene and quantum dots put in motion a CMOS-integrated camera that can see the invisible May 29th, 2017

Ag/ZnO-Nanorods Schottky diodes based UV-PDs are fabricated and tested May 26th, 2017

Three-dimensional graphene: Experiment at BESSY II shows that optical properties are tuneable May 24th, 2017

Zap! Graphene is bad news for bacteria: Rice, Ben-Gurion universities show laser-induced graphene kills bacteria, resists biofouling May 22nd, 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