Josephson Junctions View Front MatterView Back Matter

Josephson Junctions

History, Devices, and Applications

edited by Edward Wolf, Gerald Arnold, Michael Gurvitch and John Zasadzinski

  • Format: Hardcover
  • ISBN: 9789814745475
  • Subject: Electronic Materials
  • Published: August 2017
  • Pages: 394

This book summarizes the history and present status and applications of Josephson junctions. These devices are leading elements in superconducting electronics and provide state-of-the-art performance in detection of small magnetic fields and currents, in several digital computing methods, and in medical diagnostic devices and now provide voltage standards used worldwide. Astronomical infrared (IR) telescopes, including the South Pole Telescope, use these junctions in combinations called superconducting quantum interference devices (SQUIDs). The history starts with the personal account of Dr. Brian Josephson of his discovery of the coupled superconductor effect that bears his name and led to his Nobel Prize in Physics in 1973. The main advances toward broader present-day application of the devices are emphasized, namely development and adoption of robust refractory devices based mostly on niobium and niobium nitride, starting with the work of M. A. Gurvitch, which built on earlier scientific work on niobium and Nb-Al bilayers, including that at the Ames Laboratory of the US Department of Energy. Previous junction devices were unable to withstand temperature cycling and were not widely applied. Recent applications are summarized in the book, including application to adiabatic quantum annealing, which is related to a form of quantum computing. The latest developments in SQUID detectors, in IR detectors for astronomy, and in Josephson voltage standards are included in this book.

The book is important as the first comprehensive summary of the broad applications of Josephson junctions, which are now quite widespread in high-level scientific instrumentation.  The book is completely up to date, including the most recent junction types and the most recent applications. The book is accurate historically, explaining in detail the contributions of different groups to the development of the refractory Josephson junctions that are now widely used.

Summarize the scope of the book.  Starting with the original theoretical work by Brian Josephson, the book explains how the technologically important coupled superconductor effect works, in both its DC and AC forms. While the early attempts to make useful junctions of soft materials like lead are not emphasized, the successful technology based on refractory niobium and niobium nitride is covered in detail. The important area of SQUIDs is reviewed carefully, including the most recent developments. The application of Josephson junctions as IR detectors is well covered, as are recent applications in adiabatic quantum annealing and the Josephson voltage standards.