Quasi-one-dimensional superconductors or nanowires exhibit a transition into a nonsuperconducting regime, as their diameter shrinks. We present measurements on ultrashort nanowires (∼40-190 nm long) in the vicinity of this quantum transition. Properties of all wires in the superconducting phase, even those close to the transition, can be explained in terms of thermally activated phase slips. The behavior of nanowires in the nonsuperconducting phase agrees with the theories of the Coulomb blockade of coherent transport through mesoscopic normal metal conductors. Thus it is concluded that the quantum transition occurs between two phases: a "true superconducting phase" and an "insulating phase". No intermediate, "metallic" phase was found.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physics and Astronomy(all)