QUANTUM PHENOMENA IN ULTRATHIN SUPERCONDUCTING NANOWIRES TEMPLATED BY DNA MOLECULES
Professor Bezrvadin aims to understand the physics of ultrathin metallic wires, which undergo a superconductor-insulator transition. Superconductivity is found in many metals and consists in the absence of any resistance to electrical current. Application of superconducting elements to information-processing systems (e.g., quantum computers) is a challenge; one of the issues to be resolved is how stable the superconductors are when reduced to extremely small dimensions.
To resolve some of these issues, Professor Bezrvadin will fabricate superconducting nanowires as thin as 5nm in diameter by depositing superconducting metals over the surface of freely suspended DNA molecules. Nanowires now become insulating (resistant to electrical current) at such small dimensions. One way to understand the origin and the nature of this insulating state is to expose the nanowires to extreme conditions, such as very low temperatures (down to 0.01K), high magnetic fields (up to 13T), and microwave radiation. During his Center appointment, Professor Bezrvadin will carry out these tests.