Geometry-dependent critical currents in superconducting nanocircuits

TitleGeometry-dependent critical currents in superconducting nanocircuits
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2011
AuthorsClem JR, Berggren KK
Journal TitlePhysical Review B
Date Published11
Type of ArticleArticle
ISBN Number1098-0121
Accession NumberWOS:000297157500010
Keywordsfilms, VORTEX

In this paper, we calculate the critical currents in thin superconducting strips with sharp right-angle turns, 180 degrees turnarounds, and more complicated geometries, where all the line widths are much smaller than the Pearl length Lambda = 2 lambda(2)/d. We define the critical current as the current that reduces the Gibbs-free-energy barrier to zero. We show that current crowding, which occurs whenever the current rounds a sharp turn, tends to reduce the critical current, but we also show that when the radius of curvature is less than the coherence length, this effect is partially compensated by a radius-of-curvature effect. We propose several patterns with rounded corners to avoid critical-current reduction due to current crowding. These results are relevant to superconducting nanowire single-photon detectors, where they suggest a means of improving the bias conditions and reducing dark counts. These results also have relevance to normal-metal nanocircuits, as these patterns can reduce the electrical resistance, electromigration, and hot spots caused by nonuniform heating.

Alternate JournalPhys. Rev. B