Charge solitons and quantum fluctuations in two-dimensional arrays of small Josephson junctions

P. Delsing, C. D. Chen, D. B. Haviland, Y. Harada, T. Claeson

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We have measured the current-voltage (IV) characteristics of several two-dimensional arrays of small Josephson junctions as a function of temperature, T and magnetic field B. The junctions have relatively large charging energies EC1 K, and normal-state resistances RN in the range of 4-150 kΩ. From the IV characteristics we can deduce the zero-bias resistance R0 and the threshold voltage Vt which reveal important information about the dynamics and statics of charge solitons in the array. R0(T) increases with decreasing temperature and may be described by thermal activation of charge solitons, characterized by an activation energy Ea. When the electrodes are in the normal state, Ea is close to 1/4EC. At low T, the thermal activation behavior breaks down, and R0(T) levels off to a value that can be attributed to the quantum fluctuations in the array. This interpretation places limitations on the observability of the charge unbinding, Kosterlitz-Thouless-Berezinskii transition for single electrons. When the electrodes are superconducting, Ea is much larger and dependent on B. In several samples, both Ea and Vt oscillate with B, having a period corresponding to one flux quantum per unit cell. For increasing magnetic fields, Vt increases until B250-450 G where it starts to decrease rapidly. We interpret the B dependence of Ea and Vt as a result of competition between Cooper-pair solitons and single-electron solitons.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3959-3971
Number of pages13
JournalPhysical Review B
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1994
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Condensed Matter Physics


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