More importantly, by using superconducting nanowires fabricated using this technique it has been possible to observe thermally assisted slippage of the superconducting phase (TAPS) and quantum slippage of the phase (QPS). This result is of great importance, as the latter of these phenomena has so far only been observed in very few systems and is still a very controversial topic.

Future applications

QPS could be applied to the fabrication of devices useful for defining a new standard for current as, contrary to normal Josephson junctions, if subjected to microwave irradiation, the arrangement is expected to show a quantized plateau in the device current. The QPS effect is also under investigation as a replacement of the Josephson effect in a new generation of superconducting flux qbits that are expected to have lower sources of decoherence. The fabrication of phase-slip devices using fabrication techniques that are compatible with conventional device engineering is a significant step towards these goals.

The researchers presented their work in the journals Nanotechnology and Superconductor Science and Technology.