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Strands of Superconductivity at the Nanoscale – Paul Goldbart

Date: Thu. October 21st, 2010, 4:15 pm-5:15 pm
Location: Rockefeller 301

Superconducting circuitry can now be fabricated at the nanoscale, e.g., by depositing suitable materials on to single molecules, such as DNA or carbon nanotubes. I shall discuss various themes that arise when superconductivity is explored in this new regime, including the thermal passage over and quantum tunneling through barriers by the superconducting condensate as a whole, as well as a strange, hormetic effect that magnetism can have on nanoscale superconductors. I shall describe nanoscale superconducting quantum interference devices, which are subtly sensitivity to magnetic fields and patterns of supercurrent — features that hint at uses of superconducting nanocircuitry, e.g., in mapping quantum phase fields and testing for superconducting correlations in novel materials. I shall also mention settings in which superconducting nanosamples show a particular sensitivity to their geometry or topology, and shall conclude by touching on two emerging themes: the interplay between graphene and superconductivity, and what nanoprobes might be revealing about exotic forms of superconductivity.

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