Vortex-induced dissipation in narrow current-biased thin-film superconducting strips

TitleVortex-induced dissipation in narrow current-biased thin-film superconducting strips
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2011
AuthorsBulaevskii LN, Graf MJ, Batista CD, Kogan VG
Journal TitlePhysical Review B
Date Published04
Type of ArticleArticle
ISBN Number1098-0121
Accession NumberWOS:000292148400003
Keywordsbridges, single-photon detectors, transition, vortices

A vortex crossing a thin-film superconducting strip from one edge to the other, perpendicular to the bias current, is the dominant mechanism of dissipation for films of thickness d on the order of the coherence length. and of width w much narrower than the Pearl length Lambda >> w >> xi. At high bias currents I * < I < I(c) the heat released by the crossing of a single vortex suffices to create a belt-like normal-state region across the strip, resulting in a detectable voltage pulse. Here Ic is the critical current at which the energy barrier vanishes for a single vortex crossing. The belt forms along the vortex path and causes a transition of the entire strip into the normal state. We estimate I* to be roughly I(c)/3. Furthermore, we argue that such "hot" vortex crossings are the origin of dark counts in photon detectors, which operate in the regime of metastable superconductivity at currents between I* and I(c). We estimate the rate of vortex crossings and compare it with recent experimental data for dark counts. For currents below I*, that is, in the stable superconducting but resistive regime, we estimate the amplitude and duration of voltage pulses induced by a single vortex crossing.

Alternate JournalPhys. Rev. B