This thesis presents the results of an experimental study onsmall-capacitance Josephson junctions in a high impedanceenvironment.
In small-capacitance Josephson junctions the charging energyEC=e2/2C becomes relevant at low temperature and thecharging effects influence the transport properties. In theobservation of single-charge effects, a fundamental role isplayed by the impedance Z(ω) of the electromagneticenvironment surrounding the junction. To detect the tunnelingof single Cooper pairs in one junction, it is essential toembed the junction in a high impedance environment at all thefrequencies, such that Z(ω)>>RQ, where RQ=h/(2e)2= 6.45 kΩ is the quantum resistance forCooper pairs. This requirement is necessary in order to avoidthe fast discharge of the junction capacitance through theexternal circuit.
In this work the effect of the high impedance environment isstudied on Cooper pair transistors (CPT) and single junctionswith tunable coupling (SQUID). The high impedance environmentis obtained by biasing the sample under test with four SQUIDarrays. The SQUID geometry, besides the modulation of thejunctions Josephson energy (EJ), allows the tuning in situ of the effective impedanceof the environment. By applying a magnetic field perpendicularto the SQUIDs loop, the zero bias resistance of the leads (R0) can be varied over several orders of magnitude(104<R0 (Ω)<108), providing the possibility to study the samesample in different electromagnetic environments.
Measurements of the current-voltage (I-V) characteristic ofa single junction with SQUID geometry allow the investigationof the influence of both the electrodynamic environment and theEJ/ECratio in the same sample. As the impedance of thebiasing leads is increased (R0>>RQ), the I-V curve of the junction exhibits a welldefined Coulomb blockade feature with a region of negativedifferential resistance, evidence of the coherent tunneling ofsingle Cooper pairs.
Measurements on CPT samples also show how the Coulombblockade feature in the I-V curve becomes sharper as theimpedance of the environment is increased. Furthermore theyindicate how the Coulomb blockade threshold voltage is modifiedwith the DC signal applied to the gate. When the SQUID arraysare highly resistive, the gate-induced modulation of the I-Vcurve changes frome-periodic to 2e-periodic, suggesting that high impedance leadseffectively reduce non-equilibrium quasiparticle poisoning.
Stockholm: Fysik , 2004. , 64 p.