Quantum fluctuations in quasi-one-dimensional superconducting channels leading to spontaneous changes of the phase of the order parameter by 2π, alternatively called quantum phase slips (QPS), manifest themselves as the finite resistance well below the critical temperature of thin superconducting nanowires and the suppression of persistent currents in tiny superconducting nanorings. Here we report the experimental evidence that in a current-biased superconducting nanowire the same QPS process is responsible for the insulating state—the Coulomb blockade. When exposed to rf radiation, the internal Bloch oscillations can be synchronized with the external rf drive leading to formation of quantized current steps on the I−V characteristic. The effects originate from the fundamental quantum duality of a Josephson junction and a superconducting nanowire governed by QPS—the QPS junction.
Lehtinen, J. S., Zakharov, K., & Arutyunov, K. Y. (2012). Coulomb Blockade and Bloch Oscillations in Superconducting Ti Nanowires. Physical Review Letters, 109, . https://doi.org/10.1103/physrevlett.109.187001