Chip-based superconducting traps for levitation of micrometer-sized particles in the Meissner state
Journal article, 2020

We present a detailed analysis of two chip-based superconducting trap architectures capable of levitating micrometer-sized superconducting particles in the Meissner state. These architectures are suitable for performing novel quantum experiments with more massive particles or for force and acceleration sensors of unprecedented sensitivity. We focus in our work on a chip-based anti-Helmholtz coil-type trap (AHC) and a planar double-loop (DL) trap. We demonstrate their fabrication from superconducting Nb films and the fabrication of superconducting particles from Nb or Pb. We apply finite element modeling (FEM) to analyze these two trap architectures in detail with respect to trap stability and frequency. Crucially, in FEM we account for the complete three-dimensional geometry of the traps, finite magnetic field penetration into the levitated superconducting particle, demagnetizing effects, and flux quantization. We can, thus, analyze trap properties beyond assumptions made in analytical models. We find that realistic AHC traps yield trap frequencies well above 10 kHz for levitation of micrometer-sized particles and can be fabricated with a three-layer process, while DL traps enable trap frequencies below 1 kHz and are simpler to fabricate in a single-layer process. Our numerical results guide future experiments aiming at levitating micrometer-sized particles in the Meissner state with chip-based superconducting traps. The modeling we use is also applicable in other scenarios using superconductors in the Meissner state, such as for designing superconducting magnetic shields or for calculating filling factors in superconducting resonators.

FEM modeling

superconducting magnetic levitation

thin superconducting film fabrication

quantum magnetomechanics


Martí Gutierrez Latorre

Chalmers, Microtechnology and Nanoscience (MC2), Quantum Technology

Joachim Hofer

University of Vienna

Matthias Rudolph

Chalmers, Microtechnology and Nanoscience (MC2), Quantum Technology

Witlef Wieczorek

Chalmers, Microtechnology and Nanoscience (MC2), Quantum Technology

Superconductor Science and Technology

0953-2048 (ISSN) 1361-6668 (eISSN)

Vol. 33 10 105002

Areas of Advance

Nanoscience and Nanotechnology (SO 2010-2017, EI 2018-)

Subject Categories

Applied Mechanics

Other Physics Topics

Other Electrical Engineering, Electronic Engineering, Information Engineering



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