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Highly Sensitive Electrometers Based on Single Cooper Pair Tunneling


A superconducting transistor structure comprising two Josephson tunnel junctions connected in series and a small island in between, which is capacitively coupled to a gate, is considered. When self-capacitances of the junctions are sufficiently small that the corresponding charging energy E c is of the order of magnitude of the Josephson coupling strength E J (and both are ≫k B T), the interplay of the charging and Josephson effects in the circuit becomes essential. This leads to a characteristic IV curve which can be effectively modulated by the gate in two limit cases of external electrodynamic impedance Z s (ω): (a) Z s = R s R Q ≈ 6.5 kΩ and (b) R s R Q . Both circuits can serve as electrometers which are competitive with traditional single-electron devices. Preliminary experimental results are discussed.

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Zorin, A.B., Lotkhov, S.V., Pashkin, Y.A. et al. Highly Sensitive Electrometers Based on Single Cooper Pair Tunneling. Journal of Superconductivity 12, 747–755 (1999).

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  • Coulomb and Josephson effects
  • thermal and quantum fluctuations
  • ultrasmall tunnel junctions