THz Josephson properties of grain boundary YBaCuO junctions on symmetric, tilted bicrystal sapphire substrates
Journal article, 2004
Superconducting Josephson junctions with high characteristic voltages (IcRn larger than 4 mV at 4.2 K) are fabricated by depositing YBa2Cu3O7-x on miscut sapphire bi-crystal substrates, where the tilting axis is along the grain boundary. The good junction quality and low microwave losses in sapphire gave high frequency response well into the THz region. High quality YBa2Cu3O7-x epitaxial films were deposited on tilted (vicinal) sapphire substrates with CeO2 buffer layers by pulsed laser deposition. YBaCuO films have smaller tilt angles, from 1.0o up to 10.3o, compared to inclination angles of the substrates from 1.5o to 13.6o. X-ray diffraction shows only a single orientation of the films in the a-b plane, as well as an absence of a-axis particles and outgrowths. Critical temperatures as high as Tc=88.589.0 K and Tc1.5 K were obtained in all films. The grain boundary in a common high-Tc superconducting junction is usually much less straight than in the bi-crystal substrate. The meandering of the artificial grain boundary in a tilted bi-crystal film is three times less than in an in-plane (un-tilted) bi-crystal.
Tilted Josephson junctions of widths from 1.5 to 6 m were tested at temperatures from 0.26 K to 77 K. IcRn products as high as 4.5 mV were observed at T=4.2 K. Shapiro steps were observed at voltages over 3 mV under 300 GHz irradiation. Josephson radiation from the tilted junction was measured at frequencies up to 1.7 THz by a cryogenic bolometer. Suppressing the critical current with a magnetic field can separate Josephson radiation and thermal radiation. A parabolic dependence of the response on bias voltage for thermal radiation corresponds to an increase of junction temperature from 260 mK at zero bias to 3 K at 1 mV bias.
High Tc superconductors