Superconducting Nanowires and Nanorings

Authored by: Andrei D. Zaikin

Handbook of Nanophysics

Print publication date:  September  2010
Online publication date:  September  2010

Print ISBN: 9781420075427
eBook ISBN: 9781420075434
Adobe ISBN:

10.1201/9781420075434-48

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Abstract

The phenomenon of superconductivity was discovered (Kamerlingh Onnes 1911) as a sudden drop of resistance to an immeasurably small value. With the development of the topic it was realized that the superconducting phase transition is frequently not at all “sudden” and the measured dependence of the sample resistance, R(T), in the vicinity of the critical temperature, T c, may have a finite width. One possible reason for this behavior—and frequently the dominating factor—is the sample inhomogeneity, i.e., the sample might simply consist of regions with different local critical temperatures. However, with improving fabrication technologies it became clear that even for highly homogeneous samples the superconducting phase transition may remain broadened. This effect is usually very small in bulk samples and becomes more pronounced in systems with reduced dimensions. A fundamental physical reason behind such smearing of the transition is superconducting fluctuations.

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