Nanoscale superconducting memory based on the kinetic inductance of asymmetric nanowire loops

Andrew Murphy, Dmitri V. Averin, Alexey Bezryadin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The demand for low-dissipation nanoscale memory devices is as strong as ever. As Moore's law is staggering, and the demand for a low-power-consuming supercomputer is high, the goal of making information processing circuits out of superconductors is one of the central goals of modern technology and physics. So far, digital superconducting circuits could not demonstrate their immense potential. One important reason for this is that a dense superconducting memory technology is not yet available. Miniaturization of traditional superconducting quantum interference devices is difficult below a few micrometers because their operation relies on the geometric inductance of the superconducting loop. Magnetic memories do allow nanometer-scale miniaturization, but they are not purely superconducting (Baek et al 2014 Nat. Commun. 5 3888). Our approach is to make nanometer scale memory cells based on the kinetic inductance (and not geometric inductance) of superconducting nanowire loops, which have already shown many fascinating properties (Aprili 2006 Nat. Nanotechnol. 1 15; Hopkins et al 2005 Science 308 1762). This allows much smaller devices and naturally eliminates magnetic-field cross-talk. We demonstrate that the vorticity, i.e., the winding number of the order parameter, of a closed superconducting loop can be used for realizing a nanoscale nonvolatile memory device. We demonstrate how to alter the vorticity in a controlled fashion by applying calibrated current pulses. A reliable read-out of the memory is also demonstrated. We present arguments that such memory can be developed to operate without energy dissipation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number063015
JournalNew Journal of Physics
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2017


  • Little-Parks effect
  • current-phase relationship
  • nanoscale memory
  • nanowire SQUID
  • superconducting memory
  • superconductivity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy(all)


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