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Superconductor-to-normal transitions in dissipative chains of mesoscopic grains and nanowires

Refael, Gil and Demler, Eugene and Oreg, Yuval and Fisher, Daniel S. (2007) Superconductor-to-normal transitions in dissipative chains of mesoscopic grains and nanowires. Physical Review B, 75 (1). Art. No. 014522. ISSN 1098-0121. doi:10.1103/PhysRevB.75.014522.

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The interplay of quantum fluctuations and dissipation in chains of mesoscopic superconducting grains is analyzed and the results are applied to nanowires. It is shown that in one dimensional arrays of resistively shunted Josephson junctions, the superconducting-normal charge relaxation within the grains plays an important role. At zero temperature, two superconducting phases can exist, depending primarily on the strength of the dissipation. In the fully superconducting phase (FSC), each grain acts superconducting, and the coupling to the dissipative conduction is important. In the SC[small star, filled] phase, the dissipation is irrelevant at long wavelengths. The transition between these two phases is driven by quantum phase slip dipoles, and is primarily local, with continuously varying critical exponents. In contrast, the transition from the SC[small star, filled] phase to the normal metallic phase is a Kosterlitz-Thouless transition with global character (i.e., determined by the field behavior at large wavelengths). Most interesting is the transition from the FSC phase directly to the normal phase: this transition, which has mixed local and global characteristics, can be one of three distinct types. The corresponding segments of the phase boundary come together at bicritical points. The zero-temperature phase diagram, as well as the finite-temperature scaling behavior are inferred from both weak and strong coupling renormalization group analyses. At intermediate temperatures, near either superconductor-to-normal phase transition, there are regimes of super-metallic behavior, in which the resistivity first decreases gradually with decreasing temperature before eventually increasing as temperature is lowered further. The results on chains of Josephson junctions are extended to continuous superconducting nanowires and the subtle issue of whether these can exhibit an FSC phase is considered. Potential relevance to superconductor-metal transitions in other systems is also discussed.

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Additional Information:©2007 The American Physical Society. (Received 27 December 2005; revised 10 November 2006; published 18 January 2007) It is a pleasure to thank A. Bezryadin, M.P.A. Fisher, J. Free, B.I. Halperin, A. Kapitulnik, S. Kivelson, W. Neils, M. Tinkham, S. Sachdev, D. Shahar, and G. Zarand for useful discussions. This work has been supported in part by the NSF via Grants No. DMR-0229243 (D.S.F.) and No. DMR-0132874 (E.D.), and by the Israel-U.S. BSF and an Alona grant (Y.O.).
Subject Keywords:superconducting transitions; mesoscopic systems; nanowires; superconducting junction devices; fluctuations in superconductors; critical exponents; phase diagrams; renormalisation; electrical resistivity
Issue or Number:1
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:REFprb07
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Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:7223
Deposited By: Archive Administrator
Deposited On:18 Jan 2007
Last Modified:08 Nov 2021 20:40

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