Geometric control of superconductivity in three dimensional nanoarchitectures

Quantum materials such as superconductors are hugely relevant for today’s society, playing a key role in existing technologies, such as magnetic data storage and magnetic resonance imaging, and promising revolutionary changes addressing key societal issues, with the possibility for new computing architectures, quantum computing, and highly efficient devices.

Patterning superconductors on the nanoscale, smaller than the penetration depth, and even approaching the coherence length, provides the opportunity to tailor the properties of the system beyond those of bulk materials. However, as with other quantum systems, the vast majority of studies of nano-superconductivity have involved planar systems.

Extending superconducting nanostructures to three dimensions promises new functionalities, with opportunities for increased density and interconnectivity – key for novel computing architectures and advanced functionality, with the possibility to go beyond the physics of bulk or planar material systems, introducing local anisotropies, non-reciprocity, or control of the dynamical behaviour of vortices.

In this PhD project you will experimentally explore the effects of patterning superconductors into 3D nanogeometries, and the resulting control over the emergent properties of the system. In this way, we will gain control over the superconducting properties of the system – including both control of the local superconducting state, as well as the formation, and dynamic behaviour of superconducting vortices.

This project is primarily an experimental project, that involves not only the use of advanced 3D nanofabrication techniques [2,3] to realise complex 3D superconducting nanostructures, but also cryogenic measurements of the transport properties of these three-dimensional nanostructures. Combined with state-of-the-art simulations of three dimensional superconducting nanoarchitectures, this project will lead to key advances in our understanding and control of three-dimensional superconducting systems.

[1] D. Makarov, O.M. Volkov, A. Kákay, O.V. Pylypovskyi, B. Budinská, O.V. Dobrovolskiy
New Dimension in Magnetism and Superconductivity: 3D and Curvilinear Nanoarchitectures
Advanced Materials 34, 2101758 (2022)
[2] V.M. Fomin & O.V. Dobrovolskiy
A Perspective on superconductivity in curved 3D nanoarchitectures
Applied Physics Letters 120, 090501 (2022)
[3] L. Skoric, D. Sanz-Hernández, F. Meng, C. Donnelly, S. Merino-Aceituno, A. Fernández-Pacheco
Layer-by-Layer Growth of Complex-Shaped Three-Dimensional Nanostructures with Focused Electron Beams
Nano Letters 20, 184 (2020)
[4] C. Donnelly, A. Hierro Rodriguez, C. Abert, S. Finizio, K. Witte, L. Skoric, J. Raabe, A. Fernandez-Pacheco
Complex free-space magnetic field textures induced by 3D magnetic nanostructures
Nature Nanotechnology 17, 136 (2022)

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