Microscopic charged fluctuators as a limit to the coherence of disordered superconductor devices

30 Oct 2018  ·  Sueur Hélène le, Svilans Artis, Bourlet Nicolas, Murani Anil, Bergé Laurent, Dumoulin Louis, Joyez Philippe ·

By performing experiments with thin-film resonators of NbSi, we elucidate a decoherence mechanism at work in disordered superconductors. This decoherence is caused by charged Two Level Systems (TLS) which couple to the conduction electrons in the BCS ground state; it does not involve any out-of-equilibrium quasiparticles, vortices, etc... Standard theories of mesoscopic disordered conductors enable making predictions regarding this mechanism, notably that decoherence should increase as the superconductor cross section decreases. Given the omnipresence of charged TLS in solid-state systems, this decoherence mechanism affects, to some degree, all experiments involving disordered superconductors. In particular, we show it easily explains the poor coherence observed in quantum phase slip experiments and may contribute to lowering the quality factors in some disordered superconductor resonators. read more

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Superconductivity Mesoscale and Nanoscale Physics