The smaller the system, typically - the higher is the impact of fluctuations. In narrow superconducting wires sufficiently close to the critical temperature Tc thermal fluctuations are responsible for the experimentally observable finite resistance. Quite recently it became possible to fabricate sub-10 nm superconducting structures, where the finite resistivity was reported within the whole range of experimentally obtainable temperatures. The observation has been associated with quantum fluctuations capable to quench zero resistivity in superconducting nanowires even at temperatures T→0. Here we demonstrate that in tiny superconducting nanorings the same phenomenon is responsible for suppression of another basic attribute of superconductivity - persistent currents - dramatically affecting their magnitude, the period and the shape of the current-phase relation. The effect is of fundamental importance demonstrating the impact of quantum fluctuations on the ground state of a macroscopically coherent system, and should be taken into consideration in various nanoelectronic applications.
Arutyunov, K. Y., Hongisto, T. T., Lehtinen, J. S., Leino, L. I., & Vasiliev, A. L. (2012). Quantum phase slip phenomenon in ultra-narrow superconducting nanorings. Scientific Reports, 2, [293 ]. https://doi.org/10.1038/srep00293