Strong mechanically induced effects in DC current-biased suspended Josephson junctions
Journal article, 2018
Superconductivity is a result of quantum coherence at macroscopic scales. Two superconductors separated by a metallic or insulating weak link exhibit the AC Josephson effect: the conversion of a DC voltage bias into an AC supercurrent. This current may be used to activate mechanical oscillations in a suspended weak link. As the DC-voltage bias condition is remarkably difficult to achieve in experiments, here we analyze theoretically how the Josephson effect can be exploited to activate and detect mechanical oscillations in the experimentally relevant condition with purely DC current bias. We unveil how changing the strength of the electromechanical coupling results in two qualitatively different regimes showing dramatic effects of the oscillations on the DC-voltage characteristic of the device. These include the appearance of Shapiro-type plateaus for weak coupling and a sudden mechanically induced retrapping for strong coupling. Our predictions, measurable in state-of-the-art experimental setups, allow the determination of the frequency and quality factor of the resonator using DC only techniques.