Kavli Affiliate: L. P. Kouwenhoven
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Superconducting diodes are a recently-discovered quantum analogueue of
classical diodes. The superconducting diode effect relies on the breaking of
both time-reversal and inversion symmetry. As a result, the critical current of
a superconductor can become dependent on the direction of the applied current.
The combination of these ingredients naturally occurs in proximitized
semiconductors under a magnetic field, which is also predicted to give rise to
exotic physics such as topological superconductivity. In this work, we use InSb
nanowires proximitized by Al to investigate the superconducting diode effect.
Through shadow-wall lithography, we create short Josephson junctions with gate
control of both the semiconducting weak link as well as the proximitized leads.
When the magnetic field is applied perpendicular to the nanowire axis, the
superconducting diode effect depends on the out-of-plane angle. In particular,
it is strongest along a specific angle, which we interpret as the direction of
the spin-orbit field in the proximitized leads. Moreover, the electrostatic
gates can be used to drastically alter this effect and even completely suppress
it. Finally, we also observe a significant gate-tunable diode effect when the
magnetic field is applied parallel to the nanowire axis. Due to the
considerable degree of control via electrostatic gating, the
semiconductor-superconductor hybrid Josephson diode emerges as a promising
element for innovative superconducting circuits and computation devices.
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