Emergence of a negative charging energy in a metallic dot capacitively coupled to a superconducting island
Journal article, 2008
We consider the hybrid setup formed by a metallic dot, capacitively coupled to a superconducting island S connected to a bulk superconductor by a Josephson junction. Charge fluctuations in S act as a dynamical gate and overscreen the electronic repulsion in the metallic dot, producing an attractive interaction between two additional electrons. As the offset charge of the metallic dot is increased, the dot charging curve shows charge-skipping positive steps (+2|e|) followed by negative ones (−|e|) signaling the occurrence of a negative differential capacitance. A necessary condition for such an effect is that the capacitance coupling the two islands should be larger than the Josephson junction capacitance. A proposal for experimental detection is given, and potential applications in nanoelectronics are outlined.