****Technical Abstract**** Vortices in superconductors have been studied from a variety of vantage points, including for the many key technological applications of superconductors in the modern world. Nonetheless, some fundamental questions remain, such as the possibility for a vortex to tunnel through a classically forbidden barrier. In the field of quantum coherent superconducting devices, recent dramatic advances have made it possible to produce resonant circuits that can store a single quantized excitation of the microwave field, or photon. In this project, experiments will be performed to study the dynamics of a single vortex coupled to a single microwave photon, thus applying state-of-the-art quantum coherent circuit technology to address key fundamental problems in condensed matter physics. Following the fabrication of nanoscale vortex confining structures, measurements of the resonators at millikelvin temperatures will provide a unique probe of the dynamics of a single vortex. In addition, such structures will allow for studies of the coupling of a single microwave photon to quantized amounts of dissipation as vortices are added one at a time. The proposed work will engage a diverse team of students in cutting-edge scientific endeavors and will provide them with training in key technological areas such as nanofabrication and microwave engineering. Public lectures will also be given describing the nature of single vortices in superconductors and their coupling to microwave quanta.

Nontechnical Abstract

Over a range of magnetic fields, many different superconductors are threaded by vortices, which are quantized bundles of magnetic flux. These vortices have been studied from a variety of vantage points, including for the many technological applications of superconductors in the modern world. Nonetheless, some fundamental questions remain, such as the possibility for a vortex to tunnel quantum mechanically through a barrier. In the field of quantum coherent superconducting devices, recent dramatic advances have made it possible to produce circuits that can store a single quantized microwave excitation, or photon. In this project, experiments will be performed to study the dynamics of a single vortex coupled to a single microwave photon, thus applying state-of-the-art quantum coherent circuit technology to address key fundamental problems in condensed matter physics. Following the fabrication of vortex confining structures at the nearby, NSF-funded Cornell NanoScale Facility, measurements at temperatures near absolute zero will provide a unique probe of the dynamics of a single vortex. Such structures will also allow for coupling a single microwave photon to quantized amounts of dissipation as vortices are added one at a time. The proposed work will engage a diverse team of students in cutting-edge scientific endeavors and will provide them with training in key areas such as nanofabrication and microwave engineering. Public lectures will also be given describing the nature of single vortices in superconductors and their coupling to microwave quanta.

Agency
National Science Foundation (NSF)
Institute
Division of Materials Research (DMR)
Application #
1105197
Program Officer
Guebre X. Tessema
Project Start
Project End
Budget Start
2011-09-15
Budget End
2014-08-31
Support Year
Fiscal Year
2011
Total Cost
$345,000
Indirect Cost
Name
Syracuse University
Department
Type
DUNS #
City
Syracuse
State
NY
Country
United States
Zip Code
13244