Carbon nanotube superconducting quantum interference device


A superconducting quantum interference device (SQUID) with single-walled carbon nanotube (CNT) Josephson junctions is presented. Quantum confinement in each junction induces a discrete quantum dot (QD) energy level structure, which can be controlled with two lateral electrostatic gates. In addition, a backgate electrode can vary the transparency of the QD barriers, thus permitting change in the hybridization of the QD states with the superconducting contacts. The gates are also used to directly tune the quantum phase interference of the Cooper pairs circulating in the SQUID ring. Optimal modulation of the switching current with magnetic flux is achieved when both QD junctions are in the ‘on’ or ‘off’ state. In particular, the SQUID design establishes that these CNT Josephson junctions can be used as gate-controlled π-junctions; that is, the sign of the current–phase relation across the CNT junctions can be tuned with a gate voltage. The CNT-SQUIDs are sensitive local magnetometers, which are very promising for the study of magnetization reversal of an individual magnetic particle or molecule placed on one of the two CNT Josephson junctions.

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Figure 1: Device and operation scheme.
Figure 2: Correlation between Kondo effect and superconductivity.
Figure 3: Correlation between normal-state conductance and superconducting switching current.
Figure 4: CNT-SQUID characteristics.
Figure 5: Gate-controlled π-junction CNT-SQUID characteristics.
Figure 6: Schematics of single-molecule studies using CNT-SQUIDs.


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We thank the TEAM group of LAAS (Toulouse) for their help in clean room processes, and acknowledge our participation in the International GDR #2756 CNRS “Science and Applications of Nanotubes”. We thank F. Balestro, B. Barbara, H. Bouchiat, E. Eyraud, I. Siddiqi and C. Thirion for important contributions and discussions. This work was supported by the EC-TMR Network QuEMolNa (MRTN-CT-2003-504880), the NoE Network MAGMANet, CNRS, and Rhône-Alpes funding.

Author information

J.-P.C. fabricated the devices, and W.W. conceived and performed the experiments with help from J.-P.C. and V.B. All authors discussed the results and commented on the manuscript.

Correspondence to W. Wernsdorfer.

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The authors declare no competing financial interests.

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Cleuziou, J., Wernsdorfer, W., Bouchiat, V. et al. Carbon nanotube superconducting quantum interference device. Nature Nanotech 1, 53–59 (2006).

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