Characterisation of amorphous molybdenum silicide (MoSi) superconducting thin films and nanowires

Banerjee, A., Baker, L. J., Doye, A., Nord, M., Heath, R. M. , Erotokritou, K., Bosworth, D., Barber, Z. H., MacLaren, I. and Hadfield, R. H. (2017) Characterisation of amorphous molybdenum silicide (MoSi) superconducting thin films and nanowires. Superconductor Science and Technology, 30(8), 084010. (doi:10.1088/1361-6668/aa76d8)

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Abstract

We report on the optimisation of amorphous molybdenum silicide thin film growth for superconducting nanowire single photon detector (SNSPD/SSPD) applications. Molybdenum silicide was deposited via co-sputtering from Mo and Si targets in an Ar atmosphere. The superconducting transition temperature (Tc) and sheet resistance (Rs) were measured as a function of thickness and compared to several theoretical models for disordered superconducting films. Superconducting and optical properties of amorphous materials are very sensitive to short- (up to 1 nm) and medium-range order (~1-3 nm) in the atomic structure. Fluctuation electron microscopy (FEM) studies showed that the films assumed an A15-like medium-range order. Electron energy loss spectroscopy (EELS) indicates that the film stoichiometry was close to Mo83Si17, which is consistent with reports that many other A15 structures with the nominal formula A3B show a significant non-stoichiometry with A:B > 3:1. Optical properties from ultraviolet (270 nm) to infrared (2200 nm) wavelengths were measured via spectroscopic ellipsometry for 5 nm thick MoSi films indicating high long wavelength absorption. We also measured the current density as a function of temperature for nanowires patterned from a 10 nm thick MoSi film. The current density at 3.6 K is 3.6 x 105A/cm2 for the widest wire studied (2003 nm), falling to 2 x 105A/cm2 for the narrowest (173 nm). This investigation confirms the excellent suitability of MoSi for SNSPD applications and gives fresh insight into the properties of the underlying materials.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Banerjee, Mr Archan and Hadfield, Professor Robert and Baker, Luke James and Doye, Mr Alastair and MacLaren, Dr Ian and Erotokritou, Mr Kleanthis and Heath, Mr Robert and Nord, Dr Magnus
Authors: Banerjee, A., Baker, L. J., Doye, A., Nord, M., Heath, R. M., Erotokritou, K., Bosworth, D., Barber, Z. H., MacLaren, I., and Hadfield, R. H.
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > School of Engineering > Electronics and Nanoscale Engineering
College of Science and Engineering > School of Physics and Astronomy
Journal Name:Superconductor Science and Technology
Publisher:IOP Publishing
ISSN:0953-2048
ISSN (Online):1361-6668
Published Online:02 June 2017
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2017 IOP Publishing Ltd
First Published:First published in Superconductor Science and Technology 30(8):084010
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License

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Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
622331Lithium niobate integrated quantum photonicsRobert HadfieldEngineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC)EP/I036273/1ENG - ENGINEERING ELECTRONICS & NANO ENG
645961Integrated Photonic Quantum technologiesRobert HadfieldEngineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC)EP/L024020/1ENG - ENGINEERING ELECTRONICS & NANO ENG
6672319UK Quantum Technology Hub in Enhanced Quantum ImagingMiles PadgettEngineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC)EP/M01326X/1S&E P&A - PHYSICS & ASTRONOMY
636381EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Sensing and MeasurementAndrew HarveyEngineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC)EP/L016753/1SCHOOL OF PHYSICS & ASTRONOMY