Sharp superconductor-insulator transition in short wires

D Meidan, Y Oreg, G Refael, Robert Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Recent experiments on short MoGe nanowires show a sharp superconductor–insulator transition tuned by the normal state resistance of the wire, with a critical resistance of Rc ≈ RQ = h/(4e2). These results are at odds with a broad range of theoretical work on Josephson-like systems that predicts a smooth transition, tuned by the value of the resistance that shunts the junction. We develop a self-consistent renormalization group treatment of interacting phase-slips and their dual counterparts, correlated cooper pair tunneling, beyond the dilute approximation. This analysis leads to a very sharp transition with a critical resistance of RQ. The addition of the quasi-particles’ resistance at finite temperature leads to a quantitative agreement with the experimental results. This self-consistent renormalization group method should also be applicable to other physical systems that can be mapped onto similar sine-Gordon models, in the previously inaccessible intermediate-coupling regime.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)341-349
Number of pages9
JournalPhysica C Superconductivity
Early online date6 Nov 2007
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2008


  • fluctuations
  • phase slips
  • superconducting wires


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