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Adam N. McCaughan and Karl K. Berggren

DOI: 10.1021/nl502629x

Superconducting electronics based on Josephson junctions are used to sense and process electronic signals with minimal loss; however, they are ultrasensitive to magnetic fields, limited in their amplification capabilities, and difficult to manufacture. We have developed a 3‑terminal, nanowire-based superconducting electrothermal device which has no Josephson junctions. This device, which we call the nanocryotron, can be patterned from a single thin film of superconducting material with conventional electron-beam lithography. The nanocryotron has a demonstrated gain of >20, can drive impedances of 100 kΩ, and operates in typical ambient magnetic fields. We have additionally applied it both as a digital logic element in a half-adder circuit, and as a digital amplifier for superconducting nanowire single-photon detectors pulses. The nanocryotron has immediate applications in classical and quantum communications, photon sensing, and astronomy, and its input characteristics are suitable for integration with existing superconducting technologies.

Related Links:

A Superconducting-Nanowire Three-Terminal Electrothermal Device (NANO Letters)

Superconducting circuits, simplified (MIT News)

Professor Karl Berggren

Quantum Nanostructures and Nanofabrication Group