In quantum technology, several aspects of superconductivity such as proximity effect have studied to develop a wide range of attractive applications at sub-kelvin temperatures. A new type of interferometer based on the proximity effect, taking place around transparent interfaces between normal- and superconducting metals, the Superconducting Quantum Interference Proximity Transistor (SQUIPT), relies on the phase dependence of the density of states in the proximized weak link. The SQUIPT devices offer the possibility to realize sensitive low-dissipation magnetometers compared to conventional DC SQUIDs. In this thesis, we investigate the development of the sensitive SQUIPT magnetometers. The first part of the thesis covers the characterization of non-hysteretic SQUIPTs with enhanced responsivity. In these structures, we demonstrate magnetic flux modulation of the device characteristics displaying no hysteresis at low temperatures by simply increasing the Josephson inductance of the weak link compared to self-inductance of the superconducting loop in the device. As a consequence, improvement in magnetic field responsivity is achievable. We then turn to the implementation of SQUIPT devices based on different fabrication methods and superconductor materials for improving the device performance. In this aspect, we fabricate and characterize niobium-based SNS devices utilizing two separate lithography and deposition steps with strong Ar ion cleaning in between. We further investigate a prototype hybrid SQUIPT device based on an Nb-Cu-Nb SNS junction with a conventional Al probe in tunnel junction. In the third part of the thesis, we present the flux noise characterization of a SQUIPT device using simultaneous measurement of DC transport properties and shot noise. To probe the noise, we use a cryogenic amplifier operating at frequencies in the range of a few MHz. We adapt this technique for flux noise measurements in SQUIPTs, adaptable also to low-temperature shot noise measurements of other nonlinear devices with high impedance. In order to investigate flux noise of SQUIPTs, we develop a model allowing one to optimize the figures of merit of the magnetometers such as the noise-equivalent flux.
|Award date||23 Feb 2017|
|Publication status||Published - 23 Mar 2018|
|MoE publication type||G5 Doctoral dissertation (article)|