Transport properties of ultrathin YBa2Cu3O7-delta nanowires: A route to single-photon detection
Journal article, 2017
We report on the growth and characterization of ultrathin YBa2Cu3O7-delta (YBCO) films on MgO (110) substrates, which exhibit superconducting properties at thicknesses down to 3 nm. YBCO nanowires, with thicknesses down to 10 nm and widths down to 65 nm, have also been successfully fabricated. The nanowires protected by a Au capping layer showsuperconducting properties close to the as-grown films and critical current densities, which are limited by only vortex dynamics. The 10-nm-thick YBCO nanowires without the Au capping present hysteretic current-voltage characteristics, characterized by a voltage switch which drives the nanowires directly from the superconducting to the normal state. We associate such bistability to the presence of localized normal domains within the superconductor. The presence of the voltage switch in ultrathin YBCO nanostructures, characterized by high sheet resistance values and high critical current values, makes our nanowires very attractive devices to engineer single-photon detectors.