Microwave response of vortices in superconducting thin films of Re and Al

C. Song, T. W. Heitmann, M. P. Defeo, K. Yu, R. McDermott, M. Neeley, John M. Martinis, B. L.T. Plourde

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

103 Scopus citations


Vortices in superconductors driven at microwave frequencies exhibit a response related to the interplay between the vortex viscosity, pinning strength, and flux creep effects. At the same time, the trapping of vortices in superconducting microwave resonant circuits contributes excess loss and can result in substantial reductions in the quality factor. Thus, understanding the microwave vortex response in superconducting thin films is important for the design of such circuits, including superconducting qubits and photon detectors, which are typically operated in small, but nonzero, magnetic fields. By cooling in fields on the order of 100 μT and below, we have characterized the magnetic field and frequency dependence of the microwave response of a small density of vortices in resonators fabricated from thin films of Re and Al, which are common materials used in superconducting microwave circuits. Above a certain threshold cooling field, which is different for the Re and Al films, vortices become trapped in the resonators. Vortices in the Al resonators contribute greater loss and are influenced more strongly by flux creep effects than in the Re resonators. This different behavior can be described in the framework of a general vortex dynamics model.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number174512
JournalPhysical Review B - Condensed Matter and Materials Physics
Issue number17
StatePublished - May 1 2009

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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