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Tunneling characteristics and low-frequency noise of high-Tc superconductor/noble-metal junctions



Yizi Xu, John (Jack) W. Ekin


We report extensive measurements of transport characteristics and low-frequency resistance noise of c-axis yttrium-barium-copper-oxide (YBCO)/Au junctions. The dominant conduction mechanism is tunneling at low temperatures. The conductance characteristic is asymmetric, and the conductance minimum occurs at a nonzero voltage. These features can be qualitatively explained by modeling the YBCO/Au interface with a Schottky barrier. The model shows that the YBCO surface behaves like a p-type degenerate semiconductor, with a Fermi degeneracy of about 0.1 eV. The barrier height is approximately 1.0 eV. We present evidence that interface states and disorder play an important role in determining the conductance characteristics. Low-frequency noise measurements of these junctions reveal that junction noise is dominated by resistance fluctuations with a 1/f-like power spectrum over a wide range of temperature and bias voltage. For temperatures between 4.2 and 77 K, the junction noise can be parameterized in terms of a normalized resistance fluctuation: δR/Rapproximately equal}6.3 × 10-4/√f, in units of Hz1⁄2, where f is the center frequency of the measurement bandwidth. At f= 10 Hz, for example, it is 2 × 10-4 Hz-1⁄2. This noise figure should prove to be useful for engineering design of high-T-c electronics. A more detailed analysis shows that at low temperatures the noise spectrum is characterized by random telegraph signals with a Lorentzian power spectrum, which can have a distribution of corner frequencies that mimics a 1/f dependence. The random telegraph signals provide evidence for the existence of localized states.
Physical Review B (Condensed Matter and Materials Physics)


high-T<sub>c</sub> superconductors, junctions, noble-metal, noise, tunneling, Y-Ba-Cu-O, YBCO


Xu, Y. and Ekin, J. (2004), Tunneling characteristics and low-frequency noise of high-T<sub>c</sub> superconductor/noble-metal junctions, Physical Review B (Condensed Matter and Materials Physics), [online], (Accessed May 23, 2024)


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Created March 21, 2004, Updated October 12, 2021