Sensors 2012, 12(5), 6049-6074; doi:10.3390/s120506049
Review

Sensing with Superconducting Point Contacts

1email and 1,2,* email
1 Department of Physics, National University of Singapore, 2 Science Drive 3, Singapore 2 Department of Chemistry, National University of Singapore, 3 Science Drive 3, Singapore
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 14 March 2012; in revised form: 6 April 2012 / Accepted: 20 April 2012 / Published: 10 May 2012
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sensing with Quantum Dots)
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Abstract: Superconducting point contacts have been used for measuring magnetic polarizations, identifying magnetic impurities, electronic structures, and even the vibrational modes of small molecules. Due to intrinsically small energy scale in the subgap structures of the supercurrent determined by the size of the superconducting energy gap, superconductors provide ultrahigh sensitivities for high resolution spectroscopies. The so-called Andreev reflection process between normal metal and superconductor carries complex and rich information which can be utilized as powerful sensor when fully exploited. In this review, we would discuss recent experimental and theoretical developments in the supercurrent transport through superconducting point contacts and their relevance to sensing applications, and we would highlight their current issues and potentials. A true utilization of the method based on Andreev reflection analysis opens up possibilities for a new class of ultrasensitive sensors.
Keywords: point contact spectroscopy; superconductivity; andreev reflections

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MDPI and ACS Style

Nurbawono, A.; Zhang, C. Sensing with Superconducting Point Contacts. Sensors 2012, 12, 6049-6074.

AMA Style

Nurbawono A, Zhang C. Sensing with Superconducting Point Contacts. Sensors. 2012; 12(5):6049-6074.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Nurbawono, Argo; Zhang, Chun. 2012. "Sensing with Superconducting Point Contacts." Sensors 12, no. 5: 6049-6074.

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